Case Open: 9.4 × 17.5 × 0.6 cm (3 11/16 × 6 7/8 × 1/4")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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.