Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

(1845)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, published in 1848, was the first of three published autobiographies of the former slave. Intended as antislavery propaganda, the Narrative served the second purpose of verifying and documenting Douglass’s life in slavery. The book was not the first slave narrative to gain a wide readership, but it was the most popular and enduring account of American slavery.

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Frederick Douglass (Library of Congress)

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