Download Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist Editor (Black Americans of by Sharman Apt Russell PDF

By Sharman Apt Russell

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Additional resources for Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist Editor (Black Americans of Achievement)

Example text

As an adult, Brown worked as a farmer, a wool merchant, a tanner, and a land speculator, traveling from Ohio to Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York. He often had no money and even was forced to declare bankruptcy at one point, but his financial difficulties did not stop him from adding to his family (in addition to his 20 children, he raised a black child as his own) or from generously supporting causes in which he believed. Brown donated land to fugitive slaves, assisted them through the Underground Railroad, and helped establish the League of Gileadites, which protected fugitive slaves from slave catchers.

Once settled, Douglass was amazed to find that his neighbors in the North were wealthier than most slaveholders in Maryland. He had expected that Northerners would be as poor as the people in the South who could not afford slaves. Many free blacks, such as Nathan Johnson, lived better than Thomas Auld or Edward Covey. On the New Bedford wharves, he saw how industry worked when it did not depend on enslaved human muscle: in loading a ship, 5 men and an ox did what it took 20 men to do in a Southern port.

The Garrisonian press launched a vicious assault against him during the following months, and Douglass responded in kind. It would be many years before the breach between the two factions would heal. The disputes between the antislavery factions did not dominate Douglass’s life. He was active in any cause that furthered the progress of his people, and he attended many conventions of black abolitionists. At a meeting in 1853, he and other black leaders joined in demanding that blacks be given their full legal and political rights as American citizens.

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