"Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" is the 1845 autobiography of freed slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. It recounts his life as a slave in Maryland and his flight for freedom. The account is accompanied by texts written by well-known fellow abolitionists of the time: William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Philipps, acting as proof of the legitimacy of the author’s claims. Upon its publication, the texts was well received, although it did get some negative feedback both from people acquainted with Douglass’s old masters, and with people doubting their cruelty, or that a black man could have written such a text. Nevertheless, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" had a huge impact on society, and remains one of the most read and studied personal accounts of slavery in America in the 19th century to this day.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1995) was an American abolitionist and author. Born into slavery in Maryland, he was of African, European, and Native American descent. He was separated from his mother at a young age and lived with his grandmother until he was sold on. Frederick was taught his alphabet by the wife of one of his owners, a knowledge he passed on to other slaves. In 1838, he successfully escaped slavery by jumping on a north-bound train. After less than 24 hours, he was in New York and free. The same year, he married the woman that had inspired his run for freedom and started working actively as a social reformer, orator, statesman, and women’s rights defender. He remains most known today for his 1845 autobiography "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave."