Autobiography Story of a person’s life, written by that person. Mostly of people w/important & lasting accomplishment -the purposes of explanation, self-justification, public instruction, moral example & entertainment. Increased w/rise of popular press in 17 th century Necessary need of 1 st person pov limits content to that person’s perspective. (Reliable?) Memoir Type of autobiography typically focused on meaningful incidents w/in a related time span. Relies heavily on author’s memories, feelings & interpretations of events’ significance. Confession Type of autobiography in which private, secret or shocking details of an author’s life is revealed. (Million Little Pieces by James Frey now labeled “semi-fictional”.)
Journalism Recording of news reports and opinion essays in publications and broadcasts. News writing judged on standards of factual accuracy, completeness of reports and impartial perspective. Opinion writing, such as editorials and columns, relies on interpretation, analysis and persuasive argument. Douglass’s career as an abolition advocate, newspaper editor, political commentator and author encompassed several literary genres.
Slave Narratives Narratives of slavery recounted the personal experiences of ante-bellum African Americans who had escaped from slavery & found their way to safety in the North. An essential part of the anti-slavery movement-narratives drew on Biblical allusion & imagery, the rhetoric of abolitionism, the traditions of the captivity narrative & the spiritual autobiography in appealing to their-often white-audiences. Some of these narratives bore a "frame" or preface attesting to their authenticity & to the sufferings described within.
"Throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, autobiographies of former slaves dominated the Afro-American narrative tradition. Approximately sixty-five American slave narratives were published in book or pamphlet form before 1865... (Andrews 78). The slave narrative took on its classic form & tone betw. 1840 and 1860, when the romantic movement in American literature was in its most influential phase.... Douglass’s celebration of selfhood in his 1845 Narrative might easily be read as a black contribution to the literature of romantic individualism & anti- institutionalism.
"The ante-bellum slave narrative was the product of fugitive bondmen who rejected the authority of their masters & their socialization as slaves & broke away, often violently, from slavery.... Through an emphasis on slavery as deprivation…a lack of adequate food, clothing, and shelter; the denial of basic familial rights; the enforced ignorance of most religions or moral precepts; and so on--the ante-bellum narrative pictures the South's "peculiar institution" as a wholesale assault on everything precious to humankind. Under slavery, civilization reverts to a Hobbesian state of nature; if left to is own devices slavery will pervert master & mistress into monsters of cupidity & power-madness & reduce their servant to a nearly helpless object of exploitation & cruelty" (79). Andrews, William. "The Representation of Slavery and Afro-American Literary Realism" (African American Autobiography: A Collection of Critical Essays, [Englewood Cliffs, N. J: Prentice Hall, 1993])
Allows readers to feel the fear he has as a small child separated from his mother Pain inflicted by undeserved whippings and weakness caused by too little food and too much physical exertion not only the hate of the slave for the slave master, but the sickness of hate that allowed human beings to keep other human beings as chattel. Horrors of slavery and overcoming adversity The only way men can be enslaved is by remaining ignorant. Learning is “the pathway from slavery to freedom” (49).
TIMELINE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS (Dates are approximate as slaves were kept ignorant of time & dates.) 1818Frederick Bailey (Douglass) born in Tuckahoe, Maryland. Mother—Harriet Bailey, a slave; father—a white man, perhaps the master. Separated from mother in infancy, lives w/grandmother. 1824 Harriet Bailey dies; seen only by son four or five times when she’d travel twelve miles by foot at night. 1817-Lived on the “Great House Farm” plantation of Colonel 1825Edward Lloyd; master was Captain Anthony, Colonel Lloyd’s clerk. 1825 Moved to Baltimore, Maryland, home of Mr. Hugh Auld, brother of Colonel Lloyd’s son-in-law, Captain Thomas Auld. 1825 Mrs. Sophia Auld, new mistress, begins to teach Frederick to read; Mr. Auld finds out and forbids it, calling it “unlawful” and “unsafe.”
1825- Lives w/Aulds; continues to learn to read & write, often 1826bribing poor white children to help him. 1829Reads “The Columbian Orator,” giving words to his feelings about slavery; learns the meaning of the word “abolition”; meets two kind Irishmen who advise him to run away to the north; “from that time on I resolved to run away” (57). (Following dates are more accurate since Douglass understands dates.) March Mrs. Lucretia and Master Andrew have both died; Master Thomas Auld, Lucretia’s husband, remarries & has a misunderstanding w/Master Hugh. As punishment of Hugh, Frederick goes to live w/Master Thomas in St. Michael’s, Maryland. Master Thomas is not as good a master; he feeds his slaves very little. Jan. 1, Moved to home of Mr. William Freeland, three miles from St. 1834Michael’s. Mr. Freeland was “an educated southern gentleman” & much kinder to the slaves. Frederick begins a Sabbath school for slaves; if they were caught they would be whipped, but they wanted to learn to read & write.
Jan. Mr. Freeland again hires Frederick from his master. 1835Frederick & several other slaves plot an escape but are discovered and sent to jail. For a reason unknown to Frederick, Master Thomas Auld decides to send him back to Baltimore to Hugh Auld. 1835Sent to learn the trade of caulking at a shipyard; severely injured in fight with white carpenters; Mr. Hugh Auld takes Frederick to work in shipyard where he is foreman; Frederick learns quickly & is soon earning wages which he must turn over to Master Hugh Auld. Spring Frederick applies to Master Thomas to allow him to hire his 1838time; Thomas refuses; however, later Hugh agrees making a deal which guarantees him more money. Frederick agrees to the plan since it is the only way he can earn money to escape. When Frederick goes out of the city on work w/o permission, Master Hugh tells him to “bring my tools & clothing home forthwith” (109). This makes Frederick more committed to find a way to escape.
Sept. 3, Frederick escapes to New York; he does not reveal the 1838means in his narrative, stating that it could embarrass some and keep others from escaping; he is helped by Mr. David Ruggles who houses Frederick in his boarding house and helps him get Anna Murray, a free black woman, to New York. Sept. 15, Anna Murray and Frederick Johnson (name changed from 1838Frederick Bailey) marry; this is particularly important since slaves were not permitted to marry; they leave for New Bedford. In New Bedford the couple is helped by Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Johnson. Frederick asks the Johnsons to help him pick a new name; Mr. Johnson who is reading “Lady of the Lake” selects Douglass. Aug. 11, At the anti-slavery convention at Nantucket Mr. William C. 1841Coffin urges Frederick Douglass to speak. Douglass writes, “It was a severe cross & I took it up reluctantly. The truth was, I felt myself a slave & the idea of speaking to white people weighed me down” (119).
"If there is no struggle there is no progress.... Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did & it never will." "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to & you have the exact measure of the injustice & wrong which will be imposed on them." "I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false & to incur my own abhorrence." "No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man w/o at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck." "People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get." "I would unite w/anybody to do right & w/nobody to do wrong."
At a Nantucket, Massachusetts, antislavery convention in 1841, Douglass was invited to describe his experiences under slavery. These extemporaneous remarks were so poignant & naturally eloquent-he was unexpectedly catapulted into a new career as agent for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. To counter skeptics who doubted that such an articulate spokesman could ever have been a slave, Douglass felt impelled to write his autobiography in 1845, revised in 1882-Life & Times of Frederick Douglass. Douglass's account became a classic in American literature as well as a primary source about slavery from the bondsman's viewpoint. To avoid recapture by his former owner, whose name and location he had given in the narrative, Douglass left on a 2 year speaking tour of Great Britain & Ireland. Abroad, Douglass helped to win many new friends for the abolition movement & cement bonds of humanitarian reform betw. continents.
Douglass returned w/funds to purchase his freedom & also to start own antislavery newspaper, the North Star. Later called Douglass Papers, which he published from 1847 to 1860 in Rochester, New York. The abolition leader William Lloyd Garrison disagreed w/need for a separate, black-oriented press & the 2 broke over this issue as well as over Douglass's support of political action to supplement moral suasion. Thus, after 1851 Douglass allied himself w/faction of the movement led by James G. Birney. He did not countenance violence, however & specifically counseled against raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (October 1859).
During the Civil War (1861–65) Douglass became a consultant to President Lincoln, advocating former slaves be armed for the North & war be made a direct confrontation against slavery. Throughout Reconstruction (1865–77), he fought for full civil rights for freedmen & vigorously supported women's rights movement. After Reconstruction, Douglass served as assistant secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission (1871) District of Columbia he was marshal (1877–81) recorder of deeds (1881–86) appointed U.S. minister & consul general to Haiti (1889–91).
Died February 20, 1895, Washington, D.C. House tour http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/douglass/home.html http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/douglass/home.html African American who was one of the most eminent human-rights leaders of the 19th century. His oratorical & literary brilliance thrust him into forefront of U.S. abolition movement & he became 1 st black citizen to hold high rank in U.S. government.
Charles White. Frederick Douglass. Lithograph, 1951. Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Foundation, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC- USZC4-6167 (2-18) http://memory.loc.g ov/cgi- bin/query/r?ammem /aaodyssey:@field( NUMBER+@band( cph+3g06167))
African-American man bound to a pole being whipped. White envelope with blue ink. Image on left. Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society, [Digital ID, nhnycw/aj aj01046e.g., nhnycw/ad ad04004] http://memory.loc.gov/a mmem/ndlpcoop/nhihtml /cwnyhshome.htmlhtt
1. Central scene shows interior of a freedman's home w/family gathered around a "Union" wood stove. Father bounces small child on his knee while his wife & others look on w/a picture of Lincoln & a banjo. 2. Below is an oval portrait of Lincoln & 3. above it, Thomas Crawford's statue of "Freedom." On either side are scenes contrasting black life in the South under the Confederacy (left) w/visions of freedman's life after the war (right). 4. At top left fugitive slaves are hunted down in a coastal swamp. 5. Below, a black man is sold, apart from his wife & children, on a public auction block. 6. At bottom a black woman is flogged & a male slave branded. 7. Above, 2 hags, 1 holding the 3-headed hellhound Cerberus, preside over these scenes & flee from the gleaming apparition of Freedom. 8. In contrast, on the right, a woman w/olive branch & scales of justice stands triumphant. 9. Here, a freedman's cottage can be seen in a peaceful landscape. 10. Below, a black mother sends her children off to "Public School." 11. At bottom a free Negro receives his pay from a cashier. 12. 2 smaller scenes flank Lincoln's portrait. In 1 a mounted overseer flogs a black field slave (left) 13. in the other a foreman politely greets Negro cotton-field workers. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/aaodyssey:@field(NUMBER+@band(app+3a06245)) Thomas Nast. Emancipation. Philadelphia: S. Bott, 1865. Wood engraving. Prints and Photographs Division. (5-9) (Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62- 2573)
http://backstoryradio.org/why-they-fought/ Civil War 150th: Why They Fought Published: 3/31/2011 23rd New York Infantry, ca. 1861-1865 (Library of Congress) 150 years ago this April, the Union went to war w/the Confederacy. Ever since, Americans have been debating the causes of that war. Most historians today agree that it was fundamentally about slavery. And so what are we to make of the fact that most Southerners didn’t own any slaves & most Northerners were not abolitionists? In this hour of BackStory, the History Guys turn the question of the war’s causes on its side, asking instead why Northerners & Southerners took up arms to fight one another. What causes were they willing to die for? Were families on the home-front united in their commitment to war, or were there differences of opinion? Who didn’t want to fight? What did slavery mean to white people on both sides & what role did enslaved & free African-Americans play in the liberation of slaves? How much did Americans’ reasons for fighting change betw. 1861 &1864? And finally – how have intervening wars altered the ways we interpret the motivations of Civil War soldiers?
Photo of Frederick Douglass Library of Congress, Manuscript Division http://memory.loc.gov/cgi- bin/ampage?collId=mfd&fileName= 15/15001/15001page.db&recNum=1 8
Picture found in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division http://memory.loc.gov/cgi- bin/ampage?collId=lhbcb&file Name=25385/lhbcb25385.db& recNum=1\
What Every American Should Know About Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist Prophet Wed, 16 Jan 2013 12:01:23 EST huffingtonpost.com “…For Douglass, there was an intimate link between individual conversion and social reform. The path of reform flowed outward from self to society. Before eradicating social evil, you first had to purify the self. Consequently Douglass and other abolitionists tried to live righteously, abstaining from tobacco, alcohol and other perceived sins that corrupted body and soul…” From what we have studied this year, who does this sound like? “…The moral achievement of the abolitionists is especially noteworthy. In 1818, the year Douglass was born, slavery was legal throughout the New World save for the Northern states. Seventy years later it had been outlawed everywhere in the western hemisphere. This stunning transformation stemmed from the collective protests of slaves, ex-slaves and abolitionists, all heeding their belief in a higher power.”
Obama Asks America to Learn the Radical Lessons of Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall Tue, 22 Jan 2013 10:01:34 EST huffingtonpost.com “’We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.’” “For those unfamiliar with American history, Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall are touchstones of three of the key progressive movements -- women's rights, civil rights, and gay rights -- that have transformed America and turned the radical ideas of earlier generations into the common sense of today.”
“Seneca Falls is the small hamlet in update New York where activists held the first women's rights convention in July 1848. Activists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Frederick Douglass were among the 300 people who spent 2 days discussing ways to promote women's equality. Building on the anti-slavery movement, the gathering catalyzed the crusade for women's suffrage…” “Selma is a small town in segregated Alabama where a series of protests & marches in 1965 became a turning point in the civil rights movement, eventually led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year….” “Stonewall is the name of a gay bar in NYC's Greenwich Village where in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, patrons resisted arrest when police raided the bar, leading to a series of demonstrations that is considered the 1 st protest action of the modern gay rights movement….” “The clear theme of Obama's speech -- "we the people" -- reflected his background as a community organizer as well as the wonderful coincidence of his second inauguration falling on Martin Luther King Day. “
“’The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.’” “Obama reminded us that it is the power of organized people that has made America a more humane and democratic society, and who ‘represent our greatest hope.’” “’You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country's course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time -- not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.’”...his inaugural speech invites us to organize and mobilize to build on the power of grassroots organizing and social movements he invoked by referring to Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall.”
1.What purposes of this book are emphasized in its title? What function is served by the opening testimonials by W. H. Garrison and Wendell Phillips? 2. What does Garrison believe are the conclusions readers should draw from this book? Why is Daniel O'Connell an appropriate person to cite for an opinion of the effects of slavery? (p. 7 or 33, par. starts “It may, perhaps…”) 3. What does Garrison believe are the most devastating effects of slavery? Is there evidence for this view from Douglass's Narrative? (p. 10 or 36, par. Starts “So profoundly ignorant…”)
4. Why does Garrison cite two reports of cases of slave murder? According to him, can slaves testify at law against cruelties perpetuated on them? (p. 11 or 36, par. Starts “In the course of his narrative…”) 5. What opinions about slavery does Phillips add in his introduction? Why does he believe Douglass's publication placed him in jeopardy? (p. 15 or 39, par. starts “After all, I shall read your book…” 6. Toward what audiences do these prefaces seem addressed?
1.Why do you think Douglass is so detailed in describing his home & its location? 2.What kinds of knowledge about themselves does he believe are kept from slaves & why does he believe this is important? 3.What does Douglass regret in his memories of his parents? What qualities does he associate w/memories of his mother? Why wasn't he able to live w/her? 4.What does he believe are some of the worse consequences of masters' siring of children of their slaves? 5.What kinds of cruelty did Douglass witness as a boy? What may be the motivation of the cruel beating of Aunt Hester? (p. 23 or 45, par. starts “the occurrence took place…”)
1.What were the economic circumstances of Douglass's master, Colonel Lloyd? What conditions does he describe on the plantations? How were slaves housed & clothed? Under what conditions did they work? 2.What explanation does Douglass give for the singing of slaves? What features does he ascribe to the songs he heard? How do you interpret the refrain he reproduces? ("I am going away to the Great House Farm!/ O, yea! O, yea! O!") 3.What seems his attitude toward the desire of other slaves to travel to the Great House Farm?
1. How did Col. Lloyd treat his stable keepers? What incident does Douglass narrate to indicate why slaves often gave seemingly contented replies when asked about their treatment? (p.35; 54 “it is partly a consequence…”) 2. What does Douglass think of the practice he describes of slaves fighting to defend the alleged virtues of their masters? To what psychological impulse does he attribute this?
1. What violent events does this chapter record? Why do you think nothing was done to prosecute the murder of slaves? (p.38; 56; “his savage barbarity…”) 2. How would you describe Douglass's style? How does he show emotion in recounting the horrible sights he has witnessed? Stylistic DeviceEvidenceEffect Diction Tone Overall
1. What were the circumstances of Douglass's life in childhood? What was his relationship to his siblings? 2. What was his response to his removal to Baltimore? What sentiment did he hold about his future? 3. What seems to be indicated about Douglass's character by his account of his childhood?
1. What effect on the character of his new mistress Mrs. Auld does Douglass ascribe to slavery? What information does Mr. Auld unintentionally provide him? 2. How was Baltimore life different from that on the plantation?
1. How does Mrs. Auld try to inhibit Douglass from learning to read & write? How does he succeed in attaining this aim? 2. What books does he read & how do these influence his beliefs about slavery? How does he come to learn about the abolitionist movement? 3. What first suggests to his mind the possibility of escape? 3. NYLibrary Interview http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/296522-1http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/296522-1
Example/Effect Details Images Diction Syntax Tone
1.What happens to Douglass after the death of Captain Anthony? What treatment of his brother does he witness? 2.After his return to Baltimore & the death of Master Andrew Auld, what is done to Douglass's grandmother? 3.Whom does Douglass regret to leave when Master Thomas orders him sent from Master Hugh's residence? What kind of information does he seek before he leaves Baltimore & for what purpose? 4.What are some general features of Douglass's writing style? Which qualities help make it effective? Does the narrative create suspense?
1.Under what conditions did Douglass live when with Thomas Auld and his wife at St. Michael's? What behavior toward a lame woman slave does Douglass record? 2.In Douglass's view, what was the disappointing effect of Mr. Auld's conversion? What was the fate of Mr. Wilson's Sabbath school for slaves? What effect may the behavior of professing Methodists have had on his later opinions? 3.What motivated Mr. Auld to send Frederick to Mr. Covey's farm? 4.Would it surprise you to learn that years later Douglass visited Mr. Auld and bade him a kind farewell shortly before the latter's death?
1.How did Mr. Covey treat Douglass and his peers? What enabled Douglass to survive the incidents of the oxen and the beatings? 2.What psychological effect did Covey's brutality have on Douglass? What thoughts or hopes encouraged him in his despair? (46) 3.What assistance in his plight did Douglass seek? What responses did he receive? Why do you think Mr. Auld refused to help him? 4.Why do you think Douglass included the incident of Sandy's offer of the root? What seems to have been Douglass's attitude toward this form of African folk practice? 5.How did Douglass regain his self-confidence? How does he add interest to his description of his long fight with Mr. Covey? 6.How does he analyze the fact that Mr. Covey failed to prosecute him for resistance? What lesson does he seem to have gained from this experience?
7.How does Douglass interpret the motives and psychological effects of the owner's encouragement of excess among the slaves during holidays? Do you think his analysis may be correct? 8.What improvements does Douglass find in his labors for Mr. Freeland? 9.What were the results of Douglass's efforts to teach his fellow slaves? 10. How did he and his friends resolve to emancipate themselves, and how is their effort failed? 11.Why do you think Mr. Auld sent the imprisoned Douglass back to Baltimore, rather than punishing him more severely? 12. In Baltimore, how was Douglass treated in Mr. Gardner's shipyard, and how did he resist? Why was his master unable to obtain legal redress on his behalf? 13. What trade did he learn, and how did this alter his status?
1.What reasons does Douglass give for not describing more of his manner of escape? From his other writings, how in fact was this escape effected? 2.What immediate considerations prompted Douglass to act? How did he plan to leave without arousing suspicion? 3.What aspects of his escape does he especially remember? 4.What part does his intended wife play in these recollections? 5.How does he choose his new name? Why may he have found it fitting? 6.What aspects of New Bedford life surprised him? What difficulties followed him in the exercise of his work? 7.What publication especially inspired Douglass? How did he commence his career as an orator and writer? 8.What is the effect of the book's closure?
1.What clarification of his views about the relation of religion and slavery does Douglass provide in the appendix? 2.What effect might it have had on religious readers? 3. Do you think the appendix provides a useful addition to the narrative of his life? 4. As you think back on this book, what features of its content or rhetoric most impress you?
During the 1850s, Frederick Douglass typically spent about six months of the year travelling extensively, giving lectures. During one winter – the winter of 1855-1856- he gave about 70 lectures during a tour that covered four to five thousand miles. And his speaking engagements did not halt at the end of a tour. From his home in Rochester, New York, he took part in local abolition-related events. On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester's Corinthian Hall. It was biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." And he asking me to speak to-day?“ Within the now-famous address is what historian Philip S. Foner has called "probably the most Moving passage in all of Douglass' speeches.“ What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your Sermons and thanks givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.