Frederick Douglass, A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Jacob Zumoff (College of New Jersey)
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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written By Himself must be seen within the context of its times. When Douglass’ first autobiography (of three) was published in 1845, slavery was still legally enshrined in practice and law in the American South. John C. Calhoun, the foremost intellectual defender of slavery, was still alive, and the U.S. was preparing to invade Mexico, in part to obtain more land for the expansion of slavery. The American Civil War still had yet to resolve the issue of slavery once and for all. Therefore, the Narrative’s anti-slavery perspective, which is today taken for granted, was very much a contentious issue in 1845. Douglass’ Narrative, besides …

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Citation: Zumoff, Jacob. "A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 August 2006 [, accessed 26 September 2023.]

7059 A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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