"Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground."
Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland in 1818. At the age of eight, young Frederick was sent to Baltimore to serve as a house servant. Although it was illegal for slaves to receive a formal education, his master's wife taught him basic reading and writing - skills he refined upon gaining his freedom. He was eventually sent to work as a field hand under a brutal slave master where he resolved to seek his freedom.
In 1838, Douglass dramatically escaped to the North and in 1841 joined the anti-slavery movement. Acclaimed abolitionistThe abolitionist movement was dedicated to outlawing slavery in the United States. William Lloyd Garrison quickly recognized Douglass' potential and asked him to participate in the American Anti-Slavery Society. After his biography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, was published in 1845, Douglass gained international fame and influence. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln sought his advice on matters regarding the emancipation of slaves.
After the Civil War, Douglass continued fighting for the civil rights of newly freed slaves in the South. He became the first African-American to be appointed to several offices by U.S. presidents, including his appointment as U.S. Minister to Haiti by President Benjamin Harrison.