divulge his means of escaping from Baltimore to New York. He did not want to jeopardize those friends who helped him escape. In Th Lif and Tims of Frdrick Douglass (1881), published sixteen years after the ivil War, when slavery was no longer a legal matter, Douglass reveals how he escaped. He borrowed identification papers from a friend, a free black sailor, and simply took the train to New York ity.
liffs Notes on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass © 1996 32 My Bondag and My Frdom ends Douglass' story in 1855, when he was still a member of the Garrisonian wing of the abolitionist movement. In Lif and Tims, he describes how he became a close friend of John Brown, the leader of a movement dedicated to ending slavery through armed resistance and slave uprisings. Douglass then tells the reader that Brown originally planned to raid Harper's Ferry in 1858 but had to postpone the raid for a year when plans for the attack were leaked by a traitor. Douglass knew about the 1859 raid well in advance; in fact, he provided financial and spiritual support for Brown's venture even though he never felt fit enough to be a part of a military operation. Brown was arrested while Douglass was lecturing in Philadelphia, and, learning about Brown's arrest, he telegraphed his own son Lewis in Rochester, New York, and asked him to secure and hide Brown's letters. Predictably, U.S. marshals soon arrived to question and search Douglass' household in Rochester. Douglass returned to Rochester and pretended that he was heading for Michigan. Instead, he left for anada, and, on November 12, 1859, he left Quebec for England. When the ivil War began, Douglass began working to recruit freed blacks into the Union army. He had an audience with President Lincoln and urged him to persuade President Davis of the onfederate States to forbid the South from executing black prisoners of war. He also asked Lincoln to mandate that black soldiers be paid the same wages as white soldiers. Lincoln didn't offer such guarantees. Instead, he told Douglass that black soldiers had more to gain from this war than whites and should therefore accept lower wages, at least for the time being. In his memoirs, Douglass expresses great admiration for Lincoln's compassion and humanity, but he disagrees with Lincoln on several points. For Douglass, Lincoln was more concerned about the preservation of the Union than he was with the issue of slavery. He suggests that Lincoln was even ready to allow slavery to continue--if the South would abandon the war and pledge loyalty to the Union. Following his meeting with the president, Douglass met with Secretary of War Stanton, who promised him a commission as assistant adjutant to the army's General Thomas. The army commission never arrived, and Douglass tells us that Stanton, after due consideration, probably changed his mind and felt that the Union was not ready for a high-ranking black officer. Interestingly, a small number of black soldiers were commissioned as officers during the ivil War, with a select few even reaching the rank of major.
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- The Bible, Candide, Frederick Douglass, Emancipation Proclamation, Test, Nature, The American, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Self-Reliance, Slavery in the United States, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Rights of Man, The Declaration of Independence, Fugitive Slave Act of 1850