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Frederick Douglass

Abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was born in slavery sometime in 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born about 1818 in slavery in Talbot County, Maryland. As has always been the case with slaves, the year and date of Douglass's birth is unknown, though later in life he chose to celebrate it on February 14. Defending the siege of teaching slaves to read and write, Baltimore's Hugh Auld wife Sophia taught Douglass letters when he was 12 years old. When Auld forbade his wife to pursue further studies, Douglass continued to learn from the children of whites and others in the area. She became one of the most famous intellectuals of her time, advising presidents and educating thousands on a variety of causes, including women's rights and Irish domination. Among Douglass's writings are a few autobiographies that best describe his experience in slavery and his life after the Civil War, including the work best known as The Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Douglass died on February 20, 1895, of a heart attack or acute stroke shortly after returning from a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

Books by Frederick Douglass

QUOTES BY Frederick Douglass

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“The white man's happiness cannot be purchased by the black man's misery.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” 
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Frederick Douglass

“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.” 
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Frederick Douglass