Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave [NOOK Book]

Overview

PREFACE


In the month of August, 1841, I attended an anti-slavery convention
in Nantucket, at which it was my happiness to become acquainted with
FREDERICK DOUGLASS, ...
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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

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Overview

PREFACE


In the month of August, 1841, I attended an anti-slavery convention
in Nantucket, at which it was my happiness to become acquainted with
FREDERICK DOUGLASS, the writer of the following Narrative. He was a
stranger to nearly every member of that body; but, having recently made
his escape from the southern prison-house of bondage, and feeling
his curiosity excited to ascertain the principles and measures of the
abolitionists,--of whom he had heard a somewhat vague description while
he was a slave,--he was induced to give his attendance, on the occasion
alluded to, though at that time a resident in New Bedford.

Fortunate, most fortunate occurrence!--fortunate for the millions of
his manacled brethren, yet panting for deliverance from their awful
thraldom!--fortunate for the cause of negro emancipation, and of
universal liberty!--fortunate for the land of his birth, which he has
already done so much to save and bless!--fortunate for a large circle of
friends and acquaintances, whose sympathy and affection he has strongly
secured by the many sufferings he has endured, by his virtuous traits of
character, by his ever-abiding remembrance of those who are in bonds, as
being bound with them!--fortunate for the multitudes, in various parts
of our republic, whose minds he has enlightened on the subject of
slavery, and who have been melted to tears by his pathos, or roused to
virtuous indignation by his stirring eloquence against the enslavers of
men!--fortunate for himself, as it at once brought him into the field
of public usefulness, "gave the world assurance of a MAN," quickened the
slumbering energies of his soul, and consecrated him to the great work
of breaking the rod of the oppressor, and letting the oppressed go free!

I shall never forget his first speech at the convention--the
extraordinary emotion it excited in my own mind--the powerful impression
it created upon a crowded auditory, completely taken by surprise--the
applause which followed from the beginning to the end of his felicitous
remarks. I think I never hated slavery so intensely as at that moment;
certainly, my perception of the enormous outrage which is inflicted by
it, on the godlike nature of its victims, was rendered far more
clear than ever. There stood one, in physical proportion and stature
commanding and exact--in intellect richly endowed--in natural eloquence
a prodigy--in soul manifestly "created but a little lower than the
angels"--yet a slave, ay, a fugitive slave,--trembling for his safety,
hardly daring to believe that on the American soil, a single white
person could be found who would befriend him at all hazards, for the
love of God and humanity! Capable of high attainments as an intellectual
and moral being--needing nothing but a comparatively small amount of
cultivation to make him an ornament to society and a blessing to his
race--by the law of the land, by the voice of the people, by the terms
of the slave code, he was only a piece of property, a beast of burden, a
chattel personal, nevertheless!

A beloved friend from New Bedford prevailed on Mr. DOUGLASS to address
the convention: He came forward to the platform with a hesitancy and
embarrassment, necessarily the attendants of a sensitive mind in such a
novel position. After apologizing for his ignorance, and reminding the
audience that slavery was a poor school for the human intellect and
heart, he proceeded to narrate some of the facts in his own history as
a slave, and in the course of his speech gave utterance to many noble
thoughts and thrilling reflections. As soon as he had taken his seat,
filled with hope and admiration, I rose, and declared that PATRICK
HENRY, of revolutionary fame, never made a speech more eloquent in the
cause of liberty, than the one we had just listened to from the lips of
that hunted fugitive. So I believed at that time--such is my belief
now. I reminded the audience of the peril which surrounded this
self-emancipated young man at the North,--even in Massachusetts, on
the soil of the Pilgrim Fathers, among the descendants of revolutionary
sires; and I appealed to them, whether they would ever allow him to
be carried back into slavery,--law or no law, constitution or no
constitution. The response was unanimous and in thunder-tones--"NO!"
"Will you succor and protect him as a brother-man--a resident of the old
Bay State?
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012769244
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 7/19/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 102 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 81 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2010

    A Must Read

    Over the years many times I have heard reference to this book but had never read it. I picked it up out of curiosity and to be honest because it was on the bargain table, but this small book of the slave story and later writings, speeches and lectures of Mr. Frederick Douglass are a real treasure and a must read. His words and life cut to the heart as you hear him tell what he experienced as a man held in bondage.
    The terror, fear and brutal cruelty of the times and the daily suffering of slaves, men, women and children,is sad,unbelievable, but true.
    It also sheds a light on the attitudes and thinking of slave owners.
    Learning to read was the spark in young Frederick that set him on his long and hard path to freedom.I found it interesting to read about the different people and chance encounters that brought him to a free state and eventually to be able to speak so strongly and beautifully against slavery as an evil against God and against our fellow human beings.
    This narritive is a powerful and thought provoking read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Tell me

    Tell me if this is a good school report.
    Ello! Im kanaja. I belive by what misstress told me i am 16. I was born i te didder plantation. My job on the plantation is being a nanny.but one day i heard a song it was"when that old charriot comes im gonna leave you.when that old charriot comes friends whos coming with me?"i started to cry but then i said when that old charriot comes i going with you. Then we ssid we were going to escape when it was stormy.see you in my next post;)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Review

    When i was assigned to read this for history my first thought was: ughh this is gonna make me fall asleep like the other books i have been forced to read BUT this actually turned out to be a good book I was appalled by the abuse that Frederick Doughlass had to go through as a slave and it is very interesting how he vividly remembers his time in bondage If you ever have the urge to read a book about the harsh realities of slavery, definately read this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    very informative for school report

    Well written, and informative--I give this book a thumbs up.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2008

    Great Book

    This is a jaw dropping stpry that displays a great picture in your head. I thought that Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was a very informational book. It showed how rough it was in the 1800¿s. Frederick Douglass struggled through watching and receiving many beatings. His masters were treating him awful and he couldn¿t do much to anything about it. As the story goes on Frederick Douglass gets sent around to differnt farms to work. At all of the farms he encounters at least one enemy. Overall ths stroy is full of infomation and is very powerful

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    Reading sections of Douglass' narrative gave me chills and made me think about the way African Americans were treated by white masters. This book gave me ideas of the hardships the African Americans faced when shipped from town to town and master to master. The words in Douglass' speech at the anti-slavery convention show his intelligence and views of being an Abolitionist. I recommend this book to any person willing or wanting to learn about slavery of African Americans in the 19th century.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2005

    Very inspiring!

    Part of my reading curriculum for my Oral Communications class, I loved it so much I had everyone in my family read it!!! Definitely recommend to those looking for a good book on slaves and slavery.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2004

    MDC Virtual College Student, June 7, 2004

    I gained personal inspiration from reading the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. There were many things that I already knew about American slavery, but Douglass' details were very intense and helped bring my understanding of the whole cruel era to a new height. It was the idea of being free that helped drive him to gain his own personal freedom. After reading this story, I felt a need to excel and strive for more in my own life. Not things, because things do not make a man, but the spirit of man is what is important. Douglass' spirit led him to be a great thinker, speaker, writer, leader, and his spirit empowered him as a human being. He escaped the bondage of slavery through his strength and endurance over many, many hardships. I highly recommend this book for reading. It tells of a history that is extraordinary, and one that must never be forgotten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2004

    The Life of a Slave

    This book is amazing. Every African American should read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2003

    Excellent Period Read!

    This book was enlightening as well as moving. To read an account of slavery from the mind of a former slave gives great insight as to the true brutality of the institution of slavery. Mr. Douglass was an amazingly well educated man by his own will and persistance. His personal narrative is very eloquently written and easily understood.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2003

    GUT WRENCHING

    While I'd heard of the book and passed it by many times in the book store I'd never gotten around to reading it. Douglass coveys the barbarity and savagery that is slavery in such a way that, that I cannot fully convey. To know that these unspeakable acts actually took place in a land that espoused freedom and liberty made me want to be sick. I¿ve read about the treatment of slaves in many history texts and I¿ve found that Douglass¿ personal account relays such raw emotion that the reader cannot help but be pulled in. The fact that the story is in the first person makes this book the best way of learning about the true nature of slavery, not a ¿cut and dry¿ matter like most text books. I was immersed in the life of this man. If it¿s not required reading, it should be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2003

    AN INTENSE " MUST READ " BOOK

    I highly recommend this superbly written book to everyone. I am certain this book will touch the heart of all those who read it. The majority of the people have developed their concept of what slavery entailed through what they learned in history books. However, this book provides the facts behind the suffering and torment of the African Americans. As such, this book provides a detailed behind-the-scene re-inactment of the cruel and immoral actions exhibited by ignorant white people. Yet, it will demonstrate how determination and perseverance can overcome all obstacles. Finally, this book will transport you to the 19th century where you will love, hate, and cry through the eyes of Frederick Douglas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2003

    Johnst - African American Literature online student

    This book was exceptional to read. Frederick Douglas's writings captured in great detail his life as a slave. The book was very well written. Although he was self taught, this educated man, took your attention. At times I thought I was there. This book was a great insight on the life of a slave.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2001

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: Written by Himself

    not for high school students... for all humans with legs

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2001

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: Written by Himself

    i read this book. I found it to be.. well, words cant describe some of my emotions. It was sad, Shocking, Harrowing- and some parts tender and even slightly funny. The man is a legend. A Legend...make no mistake! No Mistake. I am white and scottish... but his humaneness...i feel in me. After all.. we are all 1 .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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