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Frederick Douglass Institute

The Writings of Frederick Douglass

Contact Frederick Douglass Institute  

Frederick Douglass Institute

Address: 408 Francis Harvey Green Library
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2766

The Writings of Frederick Douglass

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave

“No book except perhaps Uncle Tom’s Cabin had as powerful an impact on the abolitionist movement as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. But while Stowe wrote about imaginary characters, Douglass’s book is a record of his own remarkable life. Born a slave in 1818 on a plantation in Maryland, Douglass taught himself to read and write. In 1845, seven years after escaping to the North, he published Narrative, the first of three autobiographies. This book calmly but dramatically recounts the horrors and the accomplishments of his early years-the daily, casual brutality of the white masters; his painful efforts to educate himself; his decision to find freedom or die; and his harrowing but successful escape. An astonishing orator and a skillful writer, Douglass became a newspaper editor, a political activist, and an eloquent spokesperson for the civil rights of African Americans. He lived through the Civil War, the end of slavery, and the beginning of segregation. He was celebrated internationally as the leading black intellectual of his day, and his story still resonates in ours.” (

My Bondage My Freedom

“Ex-slave Frederick Douglass’s second autobiography-written after ten years of reflection following his legal emancipation in 1846 and his break with his mentor William Lloyd Garrison-catapulted Douglass into the international spotlight as the foremost spokesman for American blacks, both freed and slave. Written during his celebrated career as a speaker and newspaper editor, My Bondage and My Freedom reveals the author of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) grown more mature, forceful, analytical, and complex with a deepened commitment to the fight for equal rights and liberties.” (

Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

Written by Himself. His early life as a slave, his escape from bondage, and his complete history to the present time including his connection with the anti-slavery movement; his labors in Great Britain as well as in his own country; his experience in the conduct of an influential newspaper; his connection with the underground railroad; his relations with John Brown and The Harper’s Ferry Raid; his recruiting the 54th And 55th Mass. Colored Regiments; his interviews with Presidents Lincoln and Johnson; his appointment by Gen. Grant to accompany the Santo Domingo Commission; also to a seat in the council of the District of Columbia; his appointment as United States Marshal by President R. B. Hayes; also his appointment by President J. A. Garfield to be recorder of deeds in Washington; with many other interesting and important events of his most eventful life; with an introduction by Mr. George L. Ruffin, of Boston. (U.N.C)

Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings

“One of the greatest African American leaders and one of the most brilliant minds of his time, Frederick Douglass spoke and wrote with unsurpassed eloquence on almost all the major issues confronting the American people during his life-from the abolition of slavery to women’s rights, from the Civil War to lynching, from American patriotism to black nationalism. Between 1950 and 1975, Philip S. Foner collected the most important of Douglass’s hundreds of speeches, letters, articles, and editorials into an impressive five-volume set, now long out of print. Abridged and condensed into one volume, and supplemented with several important texts that Foner did not include, Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings presents the most significant, insightful, and elegant short works of Douglass’s massive oeuvre.”

After more than one-hundred and fifty years since his departure, Douglass’s work continues to inspire innovation in the fields of African American Studies, Ethics, Social and Political Justice, Philosophy, Literature, and much more…