Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Essay


Before you start writing an essay on the life of Frederick Douglass, you need to thoroughly study his biography including the facts about his childhood, his participation in the abolitionist movement and some other. For a start, you can find more information about the childhood of Frederick Douglass, namely the facts about where he grew up. After that you can write about his life in slavery and the way he learnt to read while being a slave. You should also include information about how he escaped from slavery and how he contributed to the abolitionist movement of those times. The last but not the least, you can mention some facts about his late years of life as well as some interesting facts from his biography. All this will make your essay deserve the highest mark from your instructor. Let us discuss the above biographic facts from the life of a famous abolitionist, Frederick Douglass.

  • The first question to be answered is where Frederick Douglass grew up. He was born and brought up on the Maryland plantation in Talbot County. The mother of Frederick Douglass was a slave, so after his birth, he also became a slave. He was named Frederick Bailey and did not know anything about his father and even was not sure when exactly he was born. He later decided to choose February 14 for his birthday, and it is still considered that he was born back in 1818.
  • The next question to be discussed in your essay is the life of Frederick Douglass as a slave. Life in slavery is not easy, especially if you are a child. Therefore, Frederick Douglass experienced various hardships and difficulties while living in slavery. At the age of seven years, Frederick Douglass was transferred to another plantation. That is why he rarely met with his mother who died when Frederick was ten years of age. Several years later, he was moved to Baltimore to serve a reputable family.
  • An important question from the biography of Frederick Douglass concerns the way he learnt to read. It is known that when Frederick was twelve years of age, the wife of his master started teaching him the alphabet. This was against the laws of those times, so when the master of Frederick found out, he prohibited his wife to proceed with teaching their slave the alphabet. Nevertheless, Frederick could be characterized as a highly intelligent person in his later years of life. He therefore wanted to learn how to read. He started to secretly learn to write and read by copying others and watching how his masters’ children were studying the alphabet.
  • As soon as Frederick learned to read, he started consuming newspapers and various articles on the problem of slavery in large amounts. He started shaping his views on the issue of human rights and the right attitude to people. He also began to teach other slaves to read, although in the end this resulted in trouble. Consequently, he was transferred to another plantation where he was severely beaten by the master in an attempt to cripple him emotionally and stop him from proceeding with his efforts to educate slaves. Nevertheless, this did not weaken Frederick, but rather strengthened him in his endeavor to gain freedom.
  • Another issue to be described in your essay is escape of Frederick Douglass to freedom. At the age of twenty, Frederick Douglass thoroughly planned an escape from slavery. He dressed as a sailor and had documents with him according to which he was a free seaman. He then boarded a train that headed north. After a day of travelling, he came to New York and became a free black man. This was the time when he got married and took the surname Douglass. From that time on, the newly born family lived in Massachusetts. Frederick lived with his wife for 44 years and had five children, but then his wife died and after some time he got married to another woman.
  • One more issue for discussion is the involvement of Frederick Douglass in abolitionist movement. While living in Massachusetts, Frederick Douglass got acquainted with various people who stood against slavery. They were known as abolitionists, because their major goal was to make slavery “abolished”. Frederick Douglass started expressing his views at various meetings telling people about his own experience in slavery. He was a talented orator and people were deeply impressed by his narrative. He soon gained fame and popularity, but this also posed a threat of him being captured by his previous masters. In order to avoid this, Frederick Douglass went to Great Britain and Ireland and even there he continued to raise his voice against slavery and try to persuade as many people as possible to join the abolitionist movement.
  • You can also mention that Douglass was a talented and widely known author. He wrote his own story about the times when he was a slave. It was an autobiography, which soon turned into a bestseller. He also wrote a few other stores about his life as a slave and as a free man. These books also drew much public attention and became widely known in various countries of the world. Frederick Douglass spoke in favor of the equality of rights for all people. He collaborated with various activists of women’s rights and strived to achieve equality of rights for women and minorities. During the Civil War, Frederick Douglass defended the rights of blacks who served in the army. He stood for equal pay and decent attitude to black soldiers who participated in war affairs and he tried hard to fight against race discrimination.
  • Finally, you should mention that Frederick Douglass died on February 20 in 1895. The cause of his death was either a stroke or a heart attack. Despite the fact that the narrative of his life has come to an end, his legacy continues to exist in his writings and various memorials.

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