Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an 1845 memoir and treatise on abolition written by the famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass. It is generally held to be the most famous of a number of narratives written by former slaves during the same period. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life and is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass recounts Douglass' life as a slave and his ambition to become a free man.
Frederick Douglass (c. February 1818 - February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Many Northerners also found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been a slave. Douglass wrote several autobiographies. He described his experiences as a slave in his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, which became a bestseller and influential in supporting abolition, as did the second, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). After the American Civil War, Douglass remained an active campaigner against slavery and wrote his last autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. First published in 1881 and revised in 1892, three years before his death, it covered events through and after the Civil War. Douglass also actively supportedwomen's suffrage, and held several public offices. Without his approval, Douglass became the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United Statesas the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee ofVictoria Woodhullon the impracticable, small, but far foreseeingEqual Rights Partyticket. A firm believer in theequalityof all people, whetherblack, female, Native American, or recentimmigrant, Douglass famously said, I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.