Frederick Douglass was born into slavery around 1818 in Maryland. During his latter childhood, the wife of his slave owner began to teach him to read, though his owner soon forbade her. Douglass continued to learn from white children and others in the neighborhood. It was through reading that Douglass began to understand and oppose the institution of slavery. A free black woman named Anna Murray assisted Douglass to freedom in 1838 and they soon married. Douglass became one of the most famous critical thinkers of his time. He advised presidents and lectured to thousands on a range of causes. Douglass was appointed to several political positions following the war and was nominated for Vice President in 1872.
“A man is great not because he hasn’t failed, but because his failure hasn’t stopped him.”
– Frederick Douglass
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