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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   



7. Slavery and
Freedom


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•  Using the Video
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Activities: Author Activities


Frederick Douglass - Selected Archive Items

Back Back to Frederick Douglass Activities

[2534] Reuben Gilbert, Declaration of Anti-Slavery Convention Assembled in Philadelphia, December 4, 1833 (1833),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [Printed Ephemera Collection Portfolio 153, Folder 26].
The woodprint by R. S. Gilbert illustrates Psalm 91.13, "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet." Abolitionists used the Bible to emphasize the conflict between slavery and Christianity.

[2729] C. M. Battey, Hon. Frederick Douglass. Orator, Statesman, Emancipator [Photo Postcard] (n.d.),
courtesy of C. M. Battey Photograph Collection, Photograph and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
Photograph depicting Douglass as an elder statesman after the Civil War.

[3292] United States Constitution (1787),
courtesy of the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration.
Delegates met on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation, but instead created a new document, and a new government, one influenced by Greek democracy, the Roman Republic, and Native American (specifically Iroquois) forms of representation.

[3482] William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp, eds., The Liberator (May 21, 1831),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Rare Books and Special Collections Division.
The Liberator, launched in 1831, called slavery a crime that should be ended immediately without compensation. Such radical abolitionism became identified with the paper's editor, William Lloyd Garrison.

[3538] Caleb Bingham, The Columbian Orator... Calculated to Improve Youth and Others in the Ornamental and Useful Art of Eloquence (1811),
courtesy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries.
Frederick Douglass highlights Bingham's primer The Columbian Orator in describing his liberation through literacy. "Columbian" implies a distinctly American mode of rhetoric.

[3570] Anonymous, Mrs. Auld Teaching Him to Read (1892),
courtesy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries.
This illustration from The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Written by Himself, depicts the northern wife of Douglass's owner introducing Douglass to reading.

[5150] J. Sartain, from a painting by M. C. Torrey, William Lloyd Garrison (n.d.),
courtesy of the National Parks Service, Frederick Douglass National Historical Site.
Garrison helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society, supported immediate emancipation and the Underground Railroad, and sponsored Frederick Douglass.

[6831] Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany, The North Star [banner] (1848),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Serial and Government Publications Division.
The North Star was an abolitionist newspaper published by prominent black intellectuals Douglass and Delany in Rochester, New York. Its name symbolized a guiding light to freedom; escaping southern slaves used the North Star to find their way to the free states or to Canada.

[7220] Frederick Douglass IV, "Reading from the Narrative: Detesting My Enslavers Through the Power of Learning to Read" (2001),
courtesy of Annenberg Media.
Frederick Douglass IV is the great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass.



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