Frederick Douglass' Paper
About the Project
Frederick Douglass was born in 1808 as Frederick August Washington Bailey, the son of an enslaved woman and possibly her white enslaver in Maryland. Douglass emancipated himself at the age of 20. Over the course of his life, he shared his experiences of enslavement in three autobiographies. Douglass was a leader of the abolition movement, fighting against slavery through speeches and writings. He passed away in 1874 at his home in Washington D.C.
The North Star, later called Frederick Douglass’ Paper, was an antislavery newspaper published by Frederick Douglass. As with The North Star, Frederick Douglass's Paper was a Rochester-based weekly newspaper that focused on antislavery efforts and other social reform causes. Despite Douglass's efforts, The North Star was not a financial success. Douglass earned extra money lecturing and even mortgaged his home in 1848 to keep the newspaper going. By 1851, financial difficulties caused him to merge The North Star with the Liberty Party Paper, a newspaper published by the abolitionist Gerrit Smith. The resulting publication was Frederick Douglass's Paper. Contributors to the paper included Douglass's coeditor Martin Delany, abolitionist Julia Griffiths, Harriet Jacobs, a formerly enslaved woman, and Charles Dickens. Excerpts from Dickens's novel Bleak House appeared in the paper in 1853. Most of the July 28, 1854 issue is devoted to the Edinburgh Anti-Slavery Society. The last page contains a large advertisement: "Call for a National Emigration Convention of Colored Men to be held in Cleveland Ohio," signed in print by Martin R. Delany, and many other prominent African Americans of the day.