Born into slavery in Maryland in 1818, Frederick Douglass was determined to gain freedomand once he realized that knowledge was power, he secretly learned to read and write to give himself an advantage. After escaping to the North in 1838, as a free man he gave powerful speeches about his experience as a slave. He was so impressive that he became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln, as well as one of the most famous abolitionists of the nineteenth century.
About the Author
April Jones Prince is the author of several children's books, including Who Was Mark Twain?
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Who Was Frederick Douglass?
Frederick Douglass was born a slave. Just like a horse or a plow, he was the property of a white man. From a young age, Frederick wondered why that was so. Wasn’t he as smart, strong, and deserving of liberty as anyone else?
At the time Frederick was born, in 1818, there were 1.5 million black slaves in the southern United States. Most didn’t learn to read. This was against the law! But Frederick taught himself to read and write.
Most slaves didn’t risk their lives to run away to freedom. This was against the law, too. But Frederick escaped and helped others do the same.
Excerpted from "Who Was Frederick Douglass?"
Copyright © 2014 April Jones Prince.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
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