Frederick Douglass Timeline

By Austin_
  • Frederick Douglass is Born

    Frederick Douglass was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in Talbot County, Maryland sometime in February of 1818. Frederick’s mother was a slave, Harriet Bailey, and all he knew of his father was that he was white, presumably his mother’s master. Frederick was born in the cabin of his great-grandmother in which he would spend the most time with and would only see his mother a few times before she passed away when he was only seven.
  • Frederick Douglass Moves to Wye House Plantation

    Frederick Douglass Moves to Wye House Plantation
    When Frederick was only six years old he started to work as a slave on the Wye house plantation which was overseen by Anthony Auld. This plantation was 42,000 acres big and housed over 1,000 slaves and was only twelve miles away from where Frederick had been living with his grandmother. Frederick had seen and experienced himself many brutal acts of violence here and also spent most of his time cold and hungry.
  • Douglass Moves with Hugh and Sophia Auld

    Douglass Moves with Hugh and Sophia Auld
    After Anthony had died on November 14, 1826, Frederick was sent to live with Hugh and Sophia Auld in Baltimore, Maryland on October 18, 1826. Frederick had asked Sophia to help him learn how to read. Sophia had thought that Frederick was a bright kid and began to do so. As Sophia was teaching Frederick the alphabet and how to read, Hugh forced Sophia to stop saying that educating slaves makes them rebellious. This made Frederick very determined to learn how to read and write
  • Douglass Receives "The Columbian Orator"

    Douglass Receives "The Columbian Orator"
    Frederick received a book called the Columbian Orator in which Frederick had spent a lot of his time reading and studying. This book taught Frederick how to improve his speaking and writing skills while also teaching him how and why slavery was wrong. This book taught Frederick on the importance of human rights and public speaking skill which turned Frederick into one of the most influential and greatest oratorical speakers and abolitionist of all time.
  • Douglass is Sent to Live with Thomas Auld

    Douglass is Sent to Live with Thomas Auld
    Frederick was sent to live with Thomas Auld in Saint Michaels, Maryland. Thomas Auld was said to be a very cruel and harsh slave master. He had not given the slaves enough food to eat and also gave very brutal and vicious beatings and punishments. Frederick had also begun to meet with slaves and try to teach them how to read and also tell them about how terrible slavery was until his meetings became discovered by Auld and were stopped.
  • Douglass is Sent to Edward Covey

    Douglass is Sent to Edward Covey
  • Frederick Designs First Escape Attempt

    Frederick Designs First Escape Attempt
    Frederick is sent to live with a farmer named William Freeland. Frederick had created an illegal school for blacks that met in that area secretly on Sunday nights. Frederick and five other slaves had designed an escape plan which was to steal a boat and row to the northern part of Chesapeake Bay and then flee to the free state of Pennsylvania on foot. The escape was supposed to take place around the easter holiday in 1836, but his plan was exposed and the slaves were thrown into jail.
  • Douglass Escapes from Slavery

    Frederick escapes from slavery on September 3, 1836. Frederick dresses up as a sailor to imposter as a seaman and uses fake identification papers to prove that he is a free, black seaman. He travels north by boat and by train to the free state of Pennsylvania and then to New York. Soon after Frederick reached New York and was now a free man.
  • Frederick Changes His Name to Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Changes His Name to Frederick Douglass
    Frederick married Anna Murray on September 15, 1838. Anna was an already free African American who came to New York with Frederick. Frederick did not want to be discovered as a fugitive slave so he changed his name from Frederick Bailey to Frederick Johnson. On September 17, the newlyweds move to New Bedford, Massachusetts where Frederick Johnson will then change his name to Frederick Douglass and be famously remembered as.
  • Douglass Speaks Out at Anti-Slavery Convention in New Bedford, Massachusetts

    Douglass Speaks Out at Anti-Slavery Convention in New Bedford, Massachusetts
    Frederick speaks out at a Massachusetts Anti-Slavery convention in New Bedford, Massachusetts on August 9, 1841. Frederick impresses many people such as abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison. Frederick is hired as a lecturer for an anti-slavery company and starts to give many speeches on the impropriety of slavery and his own past experiences as a slave to different northern states.
  • Douglass is Beaten by a Pro Slavery Mob

    Although Frederick loved his job as an antislavery public speaker, his job was extremely tough. He was once very rough handled when he had refused to obey the desegregation signs. One time at an antislavery convention in Pendleton, Indiana, he was beaten by a proslavery mob and came out with a few significant injuries. Even though this hurt Douglass, he did not stop and kept fighting as a proud abolitionist as he believed he had found his purpose in life.
  • Douglass' Freedom is Bought

    Douglass started to travel to many other European countries such as Great Britain and Ireland, where he continued to spread his abolitionist movement. While in European, a group of people decided to raise money to buy Frederick Douglass’ freedom since he was still a fugitive and Douglass was manumitted after Auld was given $711.66 for Douglass’ freedom.
  • Douglass Publishes First Narrative

    Douglass Publishes First Narrative
    On May 28, 1845, Frederick published his first narrative, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass which was an intermediate best seller with around 11,000 copies in the U.S. and was also translated into other languages such as French and Dutch.
  • Douglass Publishes First Edition of "The North Star"

    On December 3, 1847, Frederick Douglass had established the first edition of his new newspaper, The North Star, in Rochester, New York. This newspaper becomes one of the most influential and popular abolitionist papers of the time. Also beginning in 1848, Douglass starts as a to shelter escaped slaves that are looking for freedom and his house also became a part of the underground railroad.
  • Douglass Publishes First Edition of "The North Star"

    Douglass Publishes First Edition of "The North Star"
    On December 3, 1847, Frederick Douglass had established the first edition of his new newspaper, The North Star, in Rochester, New York. This newspaper becomes one of the most influential and popular abolitionist papers of the time. Also beginning in 1848, Douglass starts as a to shelter escaped slaves that are looking for freedom and his house also became a part of the underground railroad.
  • Douglass Becomes a Recruiter for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry

    Douglass Becomes a Recruiter for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry
    In February of 1863, Frederick Douglass became a recruiter of black troops for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. About 180,000 African American troops ended up serving on the Union side of the Civil War. Also in early 1865 after the war ends and the slaves are freed, Douglass becomes an advocate for women's rights in which he will do for the rest of his life.
  • Douglass is Appointed as U.S. Marshal of D.C.

    Douglass is Appointed as U.S. Marshal of D.C.
    Frederick Douglass is appointed as the U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia on March 18, 1877. This is the first time that the U.S. senate had to confirm an African American for a federal government job. By Douglass becoming a U.S. Marshal he was able to strengthen the occupation of government jobs for African Americans. In early 1878, Douglass buys a house in Anacostia, D.C. called “Cedar Hill” where Douglass will live the last 17 years of his life.
  • Frederick Douglass Dies

    Frederick Douglass Dies
    Frederick Douglass dies in Cedar Hill home on February 20, 1895, at age 77.