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Book Review: The Life and Times of Frederick Douglas (Essay Sample)




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The Life and Times of Frederick Douglas
The folklore of America’s Slavery was laden with several heart-wrenching tales of human maltreatment endured by those of the African descent. In his autobiography, the author retaliates the daily dismals African slaves experienced in the eons of the 1960’s. In the tale “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglas” the author depicts the quandary with articulacy and in a manner that can only be expressed by someone who experienced it. Frederick writes on a series of themes in the jungles of Maryland that were characterized by daily punishments, and the division of families that would come to later liberate him from the processions of slavery (Douglas 19). In particular, this essay will in the first part analyze the life of Frederick Douglas as a slave and as an abolitionist, then in part two, it will analyze the transcripts of Eric Foner NPR program interviews to draw similarities between Frederick’s experiences and those discussed by the historian.
Part 1
What Enabled Frederic Douglas to Escape Slavery
In his narrative on the tale “Escape from Slavery,” Frederick Douglas accounts on the many obstructions that he experienced in his runaway to freedom. Of the odd, Frederick tales of the turncoat behaviors of their fellow blacks who captured fellow men of his skin taking them back to the slave masters. The writer notes that slave masters targeted African blacks to offer them labor given that most of the African blacks at the time financially unfit and lived below the poverty line (Douglas 21). Nonetheless, the central thesis to his escape from slavery revolves around Frederick’s individual experience in his flee to begin life anew. The writer in his narrative fashions imageries which incites a reader to envisage his treacherous experiences.
The activists’ path to freedom started from Baltimore Maryland, from where he would later travel to Philadelphia. However, for him not to be captured, Frederick mocked to be a sailor hauling Seaman’s documents which he had obtained from an acquaintance. Nonetheless, the overall test was to come at a time when the train conductor was to scrutinize Frederick seaport documents a seemingly decisive time that was to determine the fate of his flee to freedom. Lucky him, the conductor let Frederick board the train without paying due prudence of his identity (Douglas 27). Though Frederick would still go through cavities of frontier points in Philadelphia and Delaware, where slave catchers were exceedingly heedful, no risk was manifest as that of Maryland boarding.
Upon reaching New York, Frederick felt a great deal of relief. Markedly, New York was a free state for all color settlement and this coupled with the trenches the writer had already overcome, to reach the free land, it was seemingly a moment of hope and dreams that he had long craved for ever since his infancy. Here, he felt having fled the territories of enslavement to begin a new chapter in his life, one with promising success. However, further proceedings in the book readings inform us of the fact that Fredericks’ vision was not complete just yet. Just upon his coming in New York, the character was informed that the city was inhabited by southerners’ moving from the North; learning him that the black people alike were not truthful in reason that these were puppets of slaveholders who would inform on him for a few dollars (Douglas 65). The slave tipped him off neither to go to colored boarding houses nor the wharves as all these places were under close sentry.
Frederick’s road from slavery ended after he arrived in Massachusetts, New Bedford. Here, the Frederick met up with Nathan Johnson who assured him that no white man’s purport could fish out a slave in the township of Belford given that this was against the city laws. In fact, the writer notes of Johnson becoming a key inspiration figure in the Fredericks’ life. As a former citizen of the grand old commonwealth of Massachusetts and worker, Johnson used his influence and connections with government officials to secure residency identifications for Frederick (Douglas 57). After that, Frederick became a full citizen of New Belford, Massachusetts and he had fled the plights and agony of slavery. It is during this that Fredericks’ identity was changed from Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey as he was known to Frederick Douglas a name which later came to be acclaimed in the fight against slavery.
Books that Created a Desire in Frederick to Escape.As aforementioned, Frederick was born in the captivity of slavery where no one white man expected a black man to have any academic rigor that Frederick would later come to exhibit. Notably, Frederick was taught how to read by the spouse of his own slave master Mrs. Auld who despite his husbands’ admonitions resigned to educate Bailey reading skills. Having acquired this mastery, Frederick went ahead to hone his sense abilities in reading many collections for example "A sketch of the physical description of the universe” by Alexander Von Humboldt, “The Odyssey” by Homer, “Orations” by Cicero and more (Anderberg par 9). However, explicitly Frederick credits the text “The Columbian Orator” for having clarified and defined his views on freedom and the lawlessness of the practice of slavery (Anderberg par 3). Following the books’ insights, Frederick came to fervently delve that the way out to self-reliance was the only trail to getting freed from the quandary of slavery. He in this extracted that "The man who will get up will be helped up, and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down.” Meanwhile, reading destined freedom to Frederick.
Role by Frederick Douglas in the Abolition of Slavery
Reviewing from the book articulations, Frederick can at large be regarded as one of the grand rebels who championed the fight against slavery. To begin with, subsequent to Lincoln’s rise to power, Frederick actively engaged every fiber of himself in the struggle to map out slavery in America. Even when President Lincoln veered off the struggle, he actively advocated against President Lincoln’s dilatory, ultra-cautious, legalistic and narrow policy (Gaido and Pollack 277). To put it simply, Frederick was of note in the emancipation of black slaves. Alternatively, he campaigned for a radical conduct of the 1960 civil war and the equal inclusion of black combatants in the American forces. Even after the civil war, Frederick was again at the fore in censuring the black suffrage in which he succeeded in influencing the Republican to assume the 1866 convention. Eventually, it is this resolution that changed the tide of the black man suffrage and was partly responsible for the latter adoption of the 15th amendment of the American constitution chatter.
Given his sturdy experiences in the corridors of Maryland, Frederick Douglas in 1841 instantly joined the Anti-slavery American society to become a part in the fight against slavery across Europe (Frederick Douglas Heritage par 7). In this, Frederick role was to traverse Europe delivering speeches, soliciting for subscribers to join the movement and publishing pamphlets intended to champion the cause. The character toured numerous States in the United Kingdom such as Wales, Ireland, England, Scotland and many more. Reports indicate that it is through this that he met key figures like Henry Richardson, and Ellen Richardson who raised finances to purchase Frederick’s freedom publications (Frederick Douglas Heritage par 9). In fact, it is further mentioned that Frederick was one of the supporters of the “Underground Railway” that harbored many slave renegades and he himself harbored slaves in his own house.
Founder of the North Star.After navigating through numerous European nations, Frederick returned to America with a lot of financial support that he used to initiate the “North Star publication” that he named “Douglas Monthly” and “Frederick Douglas Paper” (Frederick Douglas Heritage par 11-12) Given the publication's influence to get to a broader audience, Fredericks’ intentions in this were to incite public views on the lethal slavery practices in the region. In this way, Douglas became a lead protagonist of the anti-slavery practices in America in his own capacity. As it is highlighted, it was also noticeable that Douglas became one of the vocal castigators of the “Fugitives Slave Act of 1850” which advocated for the annexation of Texas with a conceal aim of raising the numbers of slave masters in the region. Whilst the collection gives faint evidence of his impact on this particular condemnation, his advocacies helped raise public consciousness on the evils of slavery therein the region.
In his speech delivered at “the Scottish Anti Slavery Society Glasgow Scotland,” Frederick Douglas spoke repartee views of the American constitution and its stance to the tide of slavery in the country. Indistinct of the many others, Frederick too harbored thoughts that the American constitution somewhat endorsed the practices of slavery through its “Three Fifth Clause” (the preservation of the slave trade and the fugitives slave law). To this, the anti-slavery activist considered necessary that the constitution needed to be protected and that the practice was an abomination which needed to be ceased right from the nations’ governing laws. In his collection, Douglas extracts that "Liberty and Slavery opposite as Heaven and Hell are both in the constitution, and the ...

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