The Life & Times of Frederick Douglass

  • Frederick's Birth

    Frederick's Birth
    Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, a slave, in Tuckahoe, Talbot County, Maryland. His mother is a slave, Harriet Bailey, and father is a white man, rumored to be his master, Aaron Anthony. He had three older siblings, Perry, Sarah, and Eliza.
  • Period: to

    Timespan

  • Growing Up

    Growing Up
    Frederick is raised by grandmother Betsey Bailey at Holme Hill Farm, where he was born; sees his mother only a few times.
    *1819-1823*
  • Last time seeing his mother

    Last time seeing his mother
    This is the very last time Frederick has seen his mother. He doesnt see her until she dies in 1826.
  • Sent to Hugh Auld

    Sent to Hugh Auld
    Sent to Baltimoreto live with Hugh Auld and his wife Sophia. His master, Aaron Anthony, dies late in the year; Frederick becomes the property of Thomas Auld, Anthony's son-in-law. Thomas Auld sends him back to Hugh Auld.
  • Learning to Read

    Learning to Read
    Asks Sophia Auld to teach him to read. She does so until Hugh Auld stops them, believing that education makes slaves rebellious.
  • Shipyard working

    Shipyard working
    1829-30
    Works in shipyard as a general assistant. He practices reading and writing in secret.
  • Abolitionist Movement

    Reads newspaper article on John Quincy Adams's antislavery petitions in Congress; learns of the abolitionist movement.Buys copy of a compilation of speeches, Caleb Bingham's The Columbian Orator, with which he hones his reading and speaking skills
  • Thomas Auld

    Thomas Auld
    Sent to St. Michaels, Maryland, where he works for Thomas Auld. Tries to teach other slaves to read until Auld discovers it and stops him.
  • Covey Time

    Covey Time
    Auld rents him out to farmer Edward Covey, known as a "slave breaker." He is beaten several times and finally fights back. Covey never tries to beat him again.
  • William Freeland

    William Freeland
    Hired out to work for William Freeland, a Talbot County, Maryland, farmer. Secretly organizes Sunday school and teaches other slaves to read.
  • Escape Plan #1

    Escape Plan #1
    Makes an escape plan but is discovered, jailed, and then released. He returns to work for Hugh and Sophia Auld in Baltimore and is hired out to work as a caulker in a Baltimore shipyard. The knowledge he gains there helps him escape slavery two years later.
  • Escape Plan #2

    Escape Plan #2
    Borrows papers from a free black sailor, he escapes from slavery to New York and changes his last name to Johnson.
  • Married to Anna Murray

    Married to Anna Murray
    Marries Anna Murray. The ceremony is performed by minister James W. C. Pennington, who is also an escaped Maryland slave. The newlyweds move to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where Frederick works as an unskilled laborer. They stay with caterers Mary and Nathan Johnson. Nathan suggests that Frederick take on the last name Douglas, from a character in Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake. He does so, spelling it Douglass.
    Tries to get job as a caulker, but white workers threaten to quit.
  • Jobs and First Born

    Jobs and First Born
    Daughter Rosetta is born.
    Douglass subscribes to William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist weekly The Liberator. Hears Garrison speaking in April.
    Becomes a licensed preacher for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
  • Henry is born!

    Henry is born!
    Frederick's second child is born. He is named Lewis Henry.
  • Speaking at New Bedford

    Speaks at an antislavery meeting in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Abolitionist William C. Coffin talks him into speaking about his life as a slave at a Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society convention. William Lloyd Garrison follows his remarks with a speech of his own, encouraging Douglass. The Society is impressed and he is hired as a speaker. Douglass becomes closely allied with Garrison and his abolitionist views.
  • Son is born/ Meeting Charles Lenox Remond

    Son is born/ Meeting Charles Lenox Remond
    Son Frederick is born.
    Meets black abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond. Talks to him about his enslaved life.
  • Next Son is born.

    Next Son is born.
    Son Charles Remond is born.
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
    He reveals details that could lead to an arrest as a fugitive. Once published he flees to the U.K. He still belongs to Hugh Auld but the Europeans and Irish friends pull enough money together to buy his freedom.
  • North Star Paper

    North Star Paper
    Returns from overseas tour; moves to Rochester , New York
    With money raised by the English and Irish friends, he buys printing press and begins publishing the abolitionist weekly North Star. He continued publishing until 1851.
  • Annie is born.

    Annie is born.
    Daughter Annie was born. Frederick hires a tutor to teach his wife to read. The effort is unsuccessful.
  • Next Autobiography

    Next Autobiography
    His next autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom is published.
  • Congress abolishes Slavery

    Congress abolishes Slavery
    The US Congress abolishes Slavery in Washington, DC.
    August 10th ~
    Douglass meets with Abraham Lincoln to discuss unequal pay and poor treatment towards the black soldiers in the Civil War.
  • Douglass remarries

    Douglass remarries
    Douglass remarries Helen Pitts, January 24, 1884. The interracial marriage causes controversy among the friends and family members.
  • Douglass Dies :(

    Douglass Dies :(
    Frederick speaks at a meeting of National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. He dies suddenly that evening. His wife recalls it as a heart faliure while he was telling her about the meeting.