Yesterday (Feb. 14) was the birthday attributed to Frederick Douglass, noted anti-slavery activist.
Douglass’s major works are all in the public domain, and we highlight them here, with links to download them as ebooks and audiobooks.
The Heroic Slave (1853)
The Heroic Slave, a heartwarming Narrative of the adventures of Madison Washington, in Pursuit of Liberty is a short piece of fiction written by notable abolitionist Frederick Douglass, at the time a fugitive slave based in Boston. When the Rochester Ladies’ Anti Slavery Society asked Douglass for a short story to go in their collection, Autographs for Freedom, Douglass responded with The Heroic Slave. The novella, published in 1852 by John P. Jewett and Company, was Douglass’ first and only published work of fiction (though he did publish several autobiographical narratives). The Heroic Slave is a fictional work inspired by Madison Washington, an enslaved cook on the brig Creole, who led a rebellion on the ship by 19 slaves in November 1841. They succeeded in taking control of the ship en route from Virginia to New Orleans (in what was known as the coastwise slave trade), and ordered it sailed to Nassau in the Bahamas. A total of 135 slaves gained freedom there, as Britain had abolished slavery in 1839. It was the largest and most successful slave rebellion in United States history.
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Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
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