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Frederick Douglass

Unidentified Artist
Frederick Douglass, Feb 1818 - 20 Feb 1895
c. 1850 after c. 1847 daguerreotype
Sixth-plate daguerreotype
Image (sight): 6.8 × 5.4 cm (2 11/16 × 2 1/8")
Case Open: 9.4 × 17.5 × 0.6 cm (3 11/16 × 6 7/8 × 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born near Easton, Maryland
In the years following his escape from bondage in 1838, Frederick Douglass emerged as a powerful and persuasive spokesman for the cause of abolition. Douglass’s effectiveness as an antislavery advocate was due in large measure to his firsthand experience with the evils of slavery and his extraordinary skill as an orator whose “glowing logic, biting irony, melting appeals, and electrifying eloquence” astonished and enthralled his audiences. Convinced that a peaceful end to slavery was impossible, Douglass embraced the Civil War as a fight for emancipation and called upon President Lincoln to enlist black troops in the cause.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection