Frederick Douglass: Freedom's Voice, 1818-1845

By Gregory P. Lampe | Go to book overview

Chapter One
Frederick Douglass' Maryland Plantation Education: His Discovery of Oratory

ON 12 AUGUST 1841, after delivering his first speeches before a predominantly white abolitionist audience at Nantucket's Atheneum Hall, Frederick Douglass was invited to become a lecturer for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. Concerned with any publicity that could expose him to discovery and arrest by his master, he at first declined the invitation. But John A. Collins, general agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, refused to take no for an answer, and Douglass reluctantly accepted his request. "Here opened upon me a new life," he recalled in 1855, "a life for which I had had no preparation." As we shall see, however, Douglass was far from unprepared for a career in oratory. Uncritical acceptance of his claim that he was ill equipped to enter the antislavery campaign has clouded our view of his early life and preparation for his career as an abolitionist orator.1 Douglass, in fact, was well prepared to enter the abolitionist crusade in August 1841 as a lecturer for the Massachusetts Anti- Slavery Society. His preparation began during his twenty-year enslavement, and by the time he escaped from slavery in 1838, he had gained valuable experiences that contributed to his understanding of rhetoric and his identity as an orator. It is possible to piece together these experiences from his autobiographies, from his later speeches, and from scholarly works on his life as a slave and on slave culture.2

This chapter provides a discussion of those forces and events in Douglass' life as a slave that contributed to his discovery of the power of the spoken word and prepared him for a career in oratory. Early on, he recognized the value and vitality of language. Certainly, his childhood experiences within the oral culture of the slave community exposed him

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Frederick Douglass: Freedom's Voice, 1818-1845
Table of contents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 352

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.