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Flashcards in Frederick Douglass Deck (39):
1

Douglass is born

1818

2

Douglass dies

1895

3

Narrative of the Life: full title

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself

4

Narrative of the Life: trauma, nostalgia

Fear is what keeps slaves where they are

5

Narrative of the Life: genre (cf. Franklin)

autobio

6

Narrative of the Life: genre; fuses elements from

sentimental novel, spiritual conversion narrative, oratorical works, heroic fiction; an example of the use of popular genres for rhetorical effect

7

Narrative of the Life: genre (single type of fiction)

Heroic fiction: stressing the counterfactual; if he had not moved to Baltimore, he would have remained a slave (he believes)

8

Narrative of the Life: genre (main type, not autobio)

Slave narrative. Conventions?

9

Narrative of the Life: tone and style

Romantic individualism

10

Narrative of the Life: Douglass's childhood

He does not know the date of his birth; doesn’t know his father and has faint memories of his mother

11

Narrative of the Life: after his master's death (a key moment in his early life)

After his master’s death, the slaves valued alongside the livestock

12

Narrative of the Life: the slave-breaker

Mr. Covey (whippings, the bite, the 2-hour fight)

13

Narrative of the Life: Mr. Covey

Religious man; the slave-breaker; weekly whippings; D bites his hand; 2-hour fight & Covey doesn't tell out of shame

14

Narrative of the Life: where does D go after Freeman's plantation?

From Freeman’s plantation, goes back to Baltimore, becomes apprentice in shipyard under Mr. Gardener, where he is disliked by white apprentices

15

Narrative of the Life: escapes to

New Bedford (keeps details of the route and means secret)

16

Narrative of the Life: what are the key turning points for Douglass, in his narrative?

o Brutal whipping of Aunt Hester
o Physical altercation with Covey
o The gift of literacy
o Reaction Douglass had to receiving freedom in the North

17

Narrative of the Life: how is D's narrative made acceptable for publication?

through prefaces from Garrison and another abolitionist, Wendell Phillips

18

Narrative of the Life: ethos, black writer, slave writer

Story must by made acceptable through prefaces from Garrison and another abolitionist, Wendell Phillips

19

Narrative of the Life: reception

an instant bestseller: goes through five print runs; readerly skepticism/doubt

20

Narrative of the Life: doubt, skepticism

Many don’t believe his stories—he’s too educated—they doubt the speeches. Margaret Fuller an advocate

21

Narrative of the Life: Douglass's condition as a slave

Some advantages compared to other slaves at the time, learned to read

22

Narrative of the Life: what age does he escape?

20

23

Narrative of the Life: Frederick's name

Changed from Bailey to Douglass to protect his identity

24

Narrative of the Life: 1840's, works with Garrison in

the American Anti-Slavery Society

25

Narrative of the Life: Garrison's and others' attitude toward D

o Garrison and others in the society often condescending—i.e. "leave out the philosophy & stick to the facts"

26

Narrative of the Life: fleeing

Escapes slavery at 20 but also leaves continent for two years, until friends buy freedom

27

Narrative of the Life: official freedom, Britain

-After his freedom purchased by two friends, comes back from Britain (after two years)

28

Narrative of the Life: despite opposition from Garrison

starts his own newspaper in 1847, the North Star

29

Narrative of the Life: North Star

Despite opposition from Garrison, starts this newspaper in 1847

30

Narrative of the Life: newspaper

Despite opposition from Garrison, starts his own newspaper in 1847, the North Star

31

Narrative of the Life: politics

D gets involved (some abolitionists were ideologically opposed to political involvement).

32

Narrative of the Life: other major work

My Bondage and My Freedom in 1855, after break with Garrison (more personal, set after Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, after Uncle Tom’s Cabin, (1852))

33

Narrative of the Life: My Bondage and My Freedom

Later, 1855 (more personal, set after Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, after Uncle Tom’s Cabin, (1852))

34

Narrative of the Life: Civil War

D campaigns to make Civil War (1861) about abolition, and to allow black men to fight for the Union

35

Narrative of the Life: Fugitive Slave Act

(“Bloodhound Law”), 1850: a compromise & effect of heightened Northern fears of a “slave power conspiracy”—escaped slaves must be returned.

36

Narrative of the Life: returning escaped slaves

Fugitive Slave Act, 1850 (five years after Narrative)

37

Narrative of the Life: published when

1845

38

Narrative of the Life: Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

Decade after Narrative. Railroad and farmland available in the area brings up expediency of determining whether or not the Missouri Compromise held in the new territory—voting decided by people pouring in from neighboring areas, (forcing out Native Americans)

39

Narrative of the Life: name two laws put in place between Narrative and My Bondage and My Freedom. Discuss implication.

Fugitive Slave Act (1850); Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854). The tenacity required to continue fighting. Goes on into Civil War.