Frederick Douglass: Letter “To My Old Master”


Explanation and Analysis of the Document

On the tenth anniversary of his escape from slavery, on September 3, 1848, Frederick Douglass penned a letter to his former slave master, Thomas Auld. The letter appeared in Douglass's weekly antislavery newspaper, the North Star, on September 8, 1848. Intended as antislavery propaganda and obviously for a wider reading audience, the letter offered Douglass an opportunity to expand on the details of his life in slavery. When Douglass's Narrative was published in 1845, he was still legally a fugitive, so his language was somewhat tempered. By...

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Frederick Douglass (Library of Congress)

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