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A great American journalist

Posted by: | November 4, 2009 | No Comment |

Once denied the right to learn to read because he was told he “should know nothing but to obey his master, to do as he is told to do,” Frederick Douglass did well to become one of the greatest journalists in American history.

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Douglass was born a slave in Maryland and separated from his mother as an infant. He lived most of his childhood with his grandmother. After at least two unsuccessful attempts to escape slavery, he successfully found freedom in 1838.

It did not take long after that for his career in journalism to begin. By 1940, he was editing and writing for “The Ram’s Horn”. The “Horn” was an abolitionist paper developed by Willis Hodges. Unfortunately, this paper had a short lifespan.

In 1841, Douglass was attending an abolishonist meeting when he heard William Lloyd Garrison speak and was immediately inspired. He once said, ” No face and form ever impressed me with such sentiments as did those of William Lloyd Garrison.” The respect between the two wasd mutual, and just one year later, Douglass was hired to write for Garrison’s “Liberator“.

Next, Douglass broke off and started his own paper. The “North Star” was much more successful than the “Horn”. Douglass wrote that “the object of the “North Star” will be to Attack Slavery in all its forms and aspects.”

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Not only was Douglass one of the leading spokesman in the abolitionist movement, he also was a leader in the women’s rights cause. He attended the Seneca Falls convention for women’s rights in 1848. This was the first convention of its kind in the country. All of the leader’s in the movement, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, were in attendance.

Throughout the rest of his life, and literally until the day he died, Douglass worked for the causes he believed in. Ib 1895, while attending a women’s rights conference, he suffered a heart attack and died. He will forever be remembered for his masterful speaking and writing matched by only a select few and the work towards causes that he truly believed in.

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