Top 5 Most Renowned Captives in History

Fredrick Ngugi May 19, 2017

3. Frederick Douglass (America)

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass. Photo Credit: Dedining

Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland, in 1818 to Harriet Bailey, an enslaved woman; he was separated from her while still an infant. In his writings, Douglass suggested that his master was his biological father.

As a slave, Douglass taught himself how to read and write, and when he finally escaped slavery, he became one of the most distinguished orators and incisive antislavery writers in America.

He was described by fellow abolitionists as a living counter-example of slaveholders’ argument that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. He authored the book “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave,” where he describes his life as a slave.

As one of the most influential African Americans of the 19th century, Douglass built a career of agitating the American conscience and was involved in numerous reform causes, including the end of slavery, women’s rights, land reform, peace, abolition of capital punishment, and temperance, among others.

He died in 1895 from a heart attack.


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