In addition to abolition, Douglass became an outspoken supporter of women’s rights. In 1848, he was the only African American to attend the first women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York. Elizabeth Cady Stanton asked the assembly to pass a resolution stating the goal of women's suffrage. Many attendees opposed the idea. Douglass stood and spoke eloquently in favor, arguing that he could not accept the right to vote as a black man if women could not also claim that right. The resolution passed. Yet Douglass would later come into conflict with women’s rights activists for supporting the Fifteenth Amendment, which banned suffrage discrimination based on race while upholding sex-based restrictions.
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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
1999. © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. Call number E 449 D746 1845 (Murrey Atkins Library, UNC-Charlotte) The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South, Beginnings to 1920.
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In 1845, his autobiography ("Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: Written by Himself") was published to great acclaim. He eloquently depicts the dehumanizing effects of bondage, writing what is often considered one of the finest examples of the slave narrative genre. In describing the efforts of an overseer to break his spirit, Douglass turns the tables to show that it was the slaveholders, not the slaves, who were the brutes to be feared. Douglass toured much of the United states and Europe speaking about his experiences and working for the emancipation of slaves.