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Profile of the Day: Frederick Douglass

Profile of the Day: Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

Have you found your connection to abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass? Today we remember the inspirational social reformer, who chose to celebrate his birthday on February 14.

Douglass had never known the exact date of his birth. He was born into slavery around February 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland. He was separated from his mother as an infant and spent the early years of his childhood living with his grandmother on a plantation in Maryland. Around the age of 8, he was sent to Baltimore to live as a house servant for Hugh Auld, a ship carpenter. It was at the home that Auld’s wife, Sophia, began teaching Douglass the alphabet. Believing that “knowledge was the pathway from slavery to freedom,” Douglass secretly taught himself to read and write.

After several failed attempts, Douglass was finally able to escape from slavery in 1838 with the help of Anna Murray, a free black woman from Baltimore. Once free, Douglass and Murray married and had five children together. Douglass became one of the most prominent voices of the abolitionist movement. In 1845, he published his autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. The highly successful book became one of the most influential books of the era.

Douglass died on February 20, 1895 of a heart attack.

Explore Frederick Douglass’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected!

View Frederick Douglass’s Geni Profile


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Image: Library of Congress


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