Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is a memoir written by former slave Frederick Douglass during his stay in Lynn, Massachusetts and published in 1845. It is the best-known work published by former slaves at that time and it is considered one of the most influential literary pieces to drive the abolitionist movement.
This book is a treatise on abolition and tells of Frederick Douglas's life as a slave and how he wishes to become a free man. It is introduced by two white abolitionists: a preface by William Lloyd Garrison and a letter by Wendell Phillips, where the veracity of the story and the literacy of its author are corroborated.
Frederick Douglas shows us the suffering of a man born a slave and his path to liberation. We are, therefore, before a story of self-improvement and hope. A must-read for understanding American history, this book is one of the most moving memoirs ever written.
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Date added: 04-03-2022
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Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears.
For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others.
Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of [my mother’s] death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger.
I remember the first time I ever witnessed this horrible exhibition. I was quite a child, but I well remember it. I never shall forget it whilst I remember any thing. It was the first of a long series of such outrages, of which I was doomed to be a witness and a participant. It struck me with awful force. It was the blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery, through which I was about to pass. It was a most terrible spectacle. I wish I could commit to paper the feelings with which I beheld it.