Lessons of Life
“Autobiography Written for the 1860 Presidential Campaign,” Circa June 1860 (16-20)
His background and limited initial formal education.
Elected to office by votes of
the people (except once).
The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
Page 183 to his friends in England on
wishing to edit a paper to ‘demonstrate his capacity’ encouraging similar efforts for
accomplishment in others.
Pages 185-87 on “ambition and presumption.” “’A wood-sawyer’ offering himself to the public
as an editor!” “The want of education…could be overcome by study and …wisdom would come
by experience….” The responsibility of editing a journal and experience of meeting people with
different opinions led him to change his opinions on the Constitution.
[Douglass leaves England,
Spring 1847, and publishes North Star in Rochester starting Fall/Winter 1847].
“Address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society,” Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sept. 30, 1859
General social philosophy on labor and capital; repeated in his Annual Message to
Congress, Dec. 3, 1861, on pp. 145-46).
Johnson says it represents the free labor ideology of the
Republican Party (33).
“To Harriet Beecher Stowe,”
March 8, 1853 (213-18).
Education and work.
“The Claims of Our Common Cause,”
address of the Colored Convention held in Rochester, July
6 – 8, 1853, to the People of the United States (260-71).
Freedom for a wide variety of activities and pursuits.
“The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions,” Lincoln’s address before the Young Men’s
Lyceum of Springfield, Ill., Jan. 27, 1838.
Perpetuation of our political institutions, attachment of
the People to Government; mobs; regard for Declaration of Independence, Constitution, laws.
Bad laws should be repealed ASAP but be religiously enforced while they continue in force.
Regarding abolition, either a thing is good in itself and deserves protection of all law and all good
citizens, or wrong and therefore proper to be prohibited by legal enactment.
Situations in which
ambitious men will try to achieve distinction, whether by “emancipating slaves, or enslaving
[System of government; political action].
“Comments on Gerrit Smith’s Address,”
The North Star, March 30, 1849 (137-40).
Abolish and reconstruct a government and Constitution that shall better answer the ends of
Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison.
“…the Constitution… is the very charter
of the government, and without which the government is nothing better than a lawless mob”.
Constitution limits the powers and action of the government.
The Supreme Court.
The letter of
the Constitution and the intentions of its framers.
The ballot box and moral power.
thinking on the Constitution was in transition.
Change of Opinion Announced,”