Frederick Augustus Washington BaileyPortrait of Frederick Douglass / Public domain

Approximately, two hundred and two years ago Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery in the state of Maryland.

In turn— as a slave, he didn’t know the exact month, day, and year of birth— due to the fact, people of color were considered property.

Simply put, he spent his entire life not knowing his actual birthday. So—he chose February 14th, 1818. At the same time laws prevented those born into slavery, from learning how to read or write.

Nevertheless—that didn’t stop him, none whatsoever! Because over time he taught himself to read.

In Short…

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, (aka Frederick Douglas) wasn’t thrilled about being beat down for going against his master rules; so he decided to become a run away slave.

By and large being a fugitive slave—with no family, friends, or a place where he could feel free didn’t stop him. Simultaneously—He went from being a former slave—to becoming a prominent Abolitionist, speaker, author, and publisher.

That’s what I call resilience.


Facts —about Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

  1. Started an anti -slavery news paper.

The North Star, later Frederick Douglass’ Paper, anti-slavery newspaper published by African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

The North Star, soon developed into one of the most influential African American anti-slavery publications of the pre-Civil War era.

The name of the newspaper paid homage to the fact that escaping slaves used the North Star in the night sky to guide them to freedom.

WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Equally important is the fact that:

2. He wrote several autobiographies:

  • He described his experiences as a slave in his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.
  • My Bondage and My Freedom
  • Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, which covers events during and after the Civil War.

The Women’s Right Movement

Eventually —Frederick Douglass became so famous within the women’s rights movement, in 1872 he was nominated as running mate, and Vice President Candidate of the United States at the Equal Rights Party convention.

Meanwhile—in 1888, he received one vote from the Kentucky Delegation at the Republican Convention in Chicago.

As a result —he became the first African American to be nominated as a U.S. presidential candidate for a major political party.

Not to mention, becoming the first African American to be listed on a presidential election ballot.


Without question—Frederick Douglass is a prime example of how to overcome obstacles; a man that had a desire to learn, a longing to be a free man and the guts to take actions.

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

Frederick Douglass

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