Frederick Douglass Timeline

  • Birth of Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass was born in February, 1818. The actual day is not known because he was born into slavery.
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    Frederick Douglass's Life

    This is the time period that Frederick Douglass was alive. He was born sometime during 1818, and died February 20, 1895.
  • Planned Escape

    Douglass made a resolution that he would be free by the end of the year, so he planned an escape. He is later discovered and jailed, but is then released.
  • Escape to Freedom

    By borrowing papers from a free black sailor, Frederick Douglass escapes to New York for freedom, where he changes his last name to Johnson. He made his way to New York, travelling by train and steamboat. He arrived in New York City on the following day.
  • Frederick Douglass marries Anna Murray

    Shortly after his escape to freedom he married Anna Murray, a free black woman, in 1838.
  • Meets William Lloyd Garrison

    Sometime in 1841 Douglass speaks at an antislavery meeting, where he meets William Lloyd Garrison and becomes closely associated with Garrison and his views.
  • Joins Anti-Slavery Lecturers

    Frederick Douglass joined a group of anti-slavery lecturers on a tour that included stops in New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. The tour was called the "One Hundred Conventions."
  • Published First Book

    In May 1845, 5,000 copies of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave were published. His book contained details about his life that could jeopardize his freedom. The book was a big success though and was translated into 3 different languages.
  • Move to England

    During August of 1845, Frederick Douglass left for a lecture tour of England, Scotland and Ireland. He fled to England to avoid being captured and returned to slavery after the publishing of his book.
  • First Issue of North Star Published

    Frederick Douglass decides to publish the North Star, his own newspaper or journal, in Rochester.
  • Published Positive Editorial on "The Rights of Women"

    Frederick Douglass published a positive editorial on "The Rights of Women," after attending the first Women's Rights Convention. This article was published in the July 28, 1848 issue of the North Star.
  • Escape to Canada

    Frederick Douglass helped in raising funds for John Brown's abolitionist activities. He was then forced to flee to Canada during October of 1859 to avoid being punished for helping Brown.
  • Lecturing in England

    Frederick Douglass sailed to England from Canada in November to lecture against slavery.
  • Served as U.S. Marshall

    During 1877- 1881 Frederick Douglass served as a U.S. Marshall for the District of Colombia under President Rutherford B. Hayes.
  • Served as District of Colombia's Recorder of Deeds

    After being U.S. Marshall, Frederick Douglass was then appointed as District of Colombia's Recorder of Deeds by President James A. Garfield. He served from 1881 to 1886.
  • Remarried

    His first wife dies and he gets remarried to Helen Pitts, a white woman who had been his secretary.
  • U.S Minister of Haiti

    Frederick Douglass was appointed U.S. Minister of Haiti under President Benjamin Harrison. He served in this position from 1889 to 1891.
  • Death of Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass dies suddenly from a heart attack after speaking at a meeting.