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This program was produced by the national educational radio under a grant from the National Home Library Foundation. From the 18th century to the 20th American who helped make America these are the travellers. Stories of Americans who have. Today. Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass when he Lincoln sought his advice and called him after the Civil War $200 a night as a Lectro was appointed marshal of the District of Columbia and later a minister of the republic. What could a one time slave born into ignorance and poverty have done to be worthy of this recognition.
This is today's story The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey he spent his first years with his grandmother in a small cabin set apart from the main plantation of which his master was the manager. One day when Frederick was eight his grandmother left him at the plantation owners big house with a cruel and ill tempered slave woman who starved and beat the children in her care. A year later the little 9 year old was sent to Baltimore to be a slave in the family of Hugh all. Frederick could hardly believe the kindness he found when he first met his new masters come in childhood when and this is all how do you pray. Mr. R. I'll do so and it is Master Thomas. Come through your pray. Free. Yes this is your pray. He's come to
take care of you Freddy. He will take good care of me. Yes ma'am. I like I like them very much. I'm a Christian. How about something. She can read. It's the way.
People like. Books. Twenty one freedom. Fred waited until his wife could join after their marriage they moved to New Bedford Massachusetts where Fred worked as a laborer for three years. During that time he read every issue of the Liberator a newspaper which demanded the freeing of all flames and he attended many anti-slavery meetings. In the summer of 1841 Fred was in a large anti-slavery meeting in Rhode
Island when he was asked to speak. There is that piece of property I told you about. Here's a graduate school not his back in. Paris. FREDERICK. My take. I'm sorry. I am the son of a slave will fall. He was a white man and a freeman. Slavery. Nick told of his life silently at last he reached the. Spot separated from wife and children.
I have not forgot nor will I as long as slavery exists on this earth. The piece of property that was then. All right. After the meeting an agent of the Anti-Slavery Society approached Frederick will you join us Frederick Douglass. Why sir I'm already a member of the society. I mean more than that. Whatever job you have and work with us the pay is uncertain. But the cause. Oh I want to help but how can I not a good speaker and I know we've learned as you walk Frederick. Your people need your strength now this nation.
Frederick became an excellent speaker. He was actually so good that his story was questioned to prove he had been a slave and to show the evils of the slave system in 1845 he wrote his first book narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass. With the publication the danger of being recaptured increased one hour his whereabouts was known for his safety and to plead its cause. The Society sent him to England where his speeches helped win British sympathies for the anti-slavery cause. The friends he made there purchased his freedom and enabling him to return to America. Once home he used the money his English friends had given him to buy a printing press with which he started the first newspaper in America that was regularly published by Negroes. He continued lecturing and was active in the Underground Railroad helping escaped slaves get to Canada. When the Civil War broke out and the governor of Massachusetts attempted to recruit regiment
Frederick did everything he could to her agenda. He was very proud of the fact that his two sons were the first negroes in the state of New York to enlist in the regiment. Frederick urged me gross to join the army despite prejudice and unfair treatment because he believed the situation would soon improve. But when he saw that there was little or no improvement he went to President Lincoln. Welcome to Washington Mr. Douglas. Thank you must. So please sit down. Why thank you sir. Now how can I help you Mr. Douglas. Mr. President I've been fairly successful in persuading Negroes to invest in the Army because of prejudice and unfair treatment. It's not possible. That's what Rick Douglass ex-slaves spoke to his president pleading the cause of the poorly treated Negro soldiers. Lincoln answered in his warm simple way explaining the reasons for the problems and what he was doing to salt. As the enemy was reaching its end.
The president for the time being what you said is enough for me. I shall go back to my recruiting duties with new energy. Little Douglas I'm grateful for what you've done in the past. If we continue working together I'm certain the future will see our common goals realize the war won and the slaves freed. So much on that. It has been said that Lincoln signed the proclamation only because the North needed the
negro's help. But Frederick knowing the president's true feelings when he was invited to return to the White House. And so Mr. Douglas Unfortunately the slaves are not coming so rapidly and so numerously to us I hope Mr President slaveholders are sure to keep such things from their slaves and probably very few. No your proclamation. Then you must search for some way to let them know. I'm being accused of failing to make peace when I do so with advantage. I do not believe that lasting peace can come short of complete surrender by the rebels. But I fear I may be forced to accept an early peace and thus leave many still in slavery. Is there any way you can get word of the Proclamation to the slaves. Well we might organize a band of Negro Scouts to set up in the south a sort of refuge or colony of rebels within rebels where escaped slaves might go for protection. These scouts could slip past the battle lines and urge the slaves to escape to the stronghold or to the north. And in this way strike a blow for freedom. President Lincoln was determined he was crushed.
But before Frederick's plan could be put into operation it was to be victorious and slavery in America would be forever. When Lincoln ran for re-election Frederick did everything he could to help and on the day of the president's second inauguration Frederick was there with the right battle. Remember these were. During. The evening following you know your ration there was a reception at the White House in honor of the president. Frederick decided that since negroes were now free men it would be fitting if one went to
congratulate his president just as any other citizen might be unable to find another negro willing to accompany him. He finally attended with a friend Mrs. Dorothy. They waited in the long line of citizens from many different sections of the country and that they reached here. Yes you can stand back. We have orders to admit he have thoughtlessly and in a few moments. You know. I'd like to know what the president promised for the future.
Thank you for coming Mr.. President Lincoln. But before he had a chance to bind up the nation. Abraham Lincoln was cut down by an assassin's bullet. When the news reached Frederick he was shocked and saddened although he was 894 never again feeling deeply as he did in this moment of great American country. This program Frederick Douglas in the series Glory Road was written by Steve Russell and produced and directed by Norman was it heard in the cast and Gwendolyn Nelson Wilson Donald Gray Bill Carr David Pachter Randall
Matheson and Seymour Frederick Douglass music courtesy of Columbia RCA Victor Recordings. Your announcer has been a grant from the National Library Foundation has made possible the production of this program for national educational radio. This is the national educational radio network.
The glory road
Frederick Douglass
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Series Description
The stories of African-Americans who have helped make the United States what it is today.
Broadcast Date
Race and Ethnicity
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Director: Wiser, Norman
Producer: Wiser, Norman
Writer: Russell, Steve
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-9-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:40
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Chicago: “The glory road; Frederick Douglass,” 1966-02-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “The glory road; Frederick Douglass.” 1966-02-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: The glory road; Frederick Douglass. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from