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Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass The abolitionist movement, which struggled to snuff out slavery in the United States in the years prior to the Civil War, boasted Frederick Douglass as one of its star proponents. A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845), his memoir which recounts his birth as a slave in Tuckahoe, Maryland, to his escape to Massachusetts in 1838, and acted as a treatise on abolition. It assured him worldwide recognition with its publication. Other works include The Heroic Slave (1853) and My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). An articulate orator with striking features, Douglass accepted an invitation by the American Anti-Slavery Society to embark on a tour of speaking engagements, thus becoming noted as one of the country's original, outstanding African American speakers. He also lectured for two years in Britain. Douglass returned to the United States, bought his freedom, and began to publish an abolitionist newspaper, the North Star, in 1847. Following the Mexican-American War , Frederick Douglass was one of those who opposed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. His position was that the United States should not obtain any territory from Mexico. Speaking through the pages of his newspaper, the North Star, he observed:

In our judgment, those who have all along been loudly in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war, and heralding its bloody triumphs with apparent rapture, and in glorifying the atrocious deeds of barbarous heroism on the part of wicked men engaged in it, have no sincere love of peace, and are not now rejoicing over peace, but plunder. They have succeeded in robbing Mexico of her territory, and are rejoicing over their success under the hypocritical pretence of a regard for peace.
President Lincoln accepted Douglass as an advisor during the Civil War. In that capacity, he advocated new constitutional amendments to ensure the vote and other civil rights for black people. Also during the war, he organized two black regiments in Massachusetts. After the war, Douglass served as a government official for the District of Columbia and was U.S. consul-general to Haiti from 1889 to 1891. Douglass contributed an assertive voice for civil rights during this era of American history and is respected to this day for his struggle against racial inequities.