Frederick Douglass: Letter “To My Old Master”

(1848)

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...

Image for: Frederick Douglass: Letter “To My Old Master”

Frederick Douglass (Library of Congress)

View Full Size