Frederick Douglass (c.1818-1895) was born into slavery but escaped in 1838, quickly becoming involved in the abolitionist movement. Following publication in 1845 of this autobiography he risked recognition and recapture by his owner, and so fled the United States. This reissue is of the Dublin edition of 1845, with a preface by Douglass explaining his reasons for his journey to Britain. Opening with a touching explanation of how he doesn't know his birthday, Douglass describes his early life and the growing awareness of the injustices he suffered. The beatings he witnessed and received himself are described in painful detail. Later, Douglass highlights the hypocrisy of the 'slaveholding religion of this land', condemning it as 'the grossest of libels'. The eloquence of the writing, with an immediacy and honesty found shocking at the time, make this an invaluable first-hand record of one of humanity's most shameful acts.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Series:||Cambridge Library Collection - Slavery and Abolition|
|Product dimensions:||5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.35(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:1818
Date of Death:February 20, 1895
Place of Death:Washington, D.C.
Read an Excerpt
I have often been utterly astonished, since I came north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy….Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion. -- from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass