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The Frederick Douglass Organization

Frederick Douglass Biography

1859 - 1865

  • 1859 the abolitionist Liberty Party headed by Gerrit Smith, later with the new Republican Party. Endorses Republican John C. Fremont for president in 1856.
  • 1853, February Visits Harriet Beecher Stowe at her home.
  • 1855, August Publishes second of his autobiographies My Bondage and My Freedom, a more balanced account of his early life than the Narrative.
  • 1855, September 12 Attends Liberty Party Convention at Ithaca, New York; nominated for office of Secretary of State of New York, first time such an honor conferred on an American Negro.
  • 1857, May 11 Delivers lecture on “The Dred Scott Decision,” before American Anti-Slavery Society in New York.
  • 1858, February 1 John Brown stays at Douglass' home in Rochester while perfecting plans for encouraging slave revolt.
  • 1859, August 20 Meets Brown secretly at stone quarry near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; learns of plan to attack Harpers Ferry; refuses to join Brown's forces.
  • 1859, October 17 Delivers lecture on “Self-Made Men” at Philadelphia; lecture interrupted by news of John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry; within a week hurries to Canada to evade arrest on charge of being a Brown accomplice.
  • 1859, November 12 Sails from Quebec for England, where he stays six months.
  • 1860, March 13 Daughter Annie dies.
  • 1860, May Returns to United States on learning of death of ten years old daughter Annie.
  • 1860, August 29 Attends radical Abolition national convention at Syracuse; chosen one of Two presidential electors-at-large; first time a Negro nominated for such a post.
  • 1860, December 3 Boston meeting to commemorate anniversary John Brown's execution; attacked by pro-slavery mob and meeting disrupted.
  • 1861, April 22 Hails news of northern determination to fight to save the Union after attack on Fort Sumter; predicts destruction of Slavery or destruction of the Union can be the war's only outcome; calls for use of black troops in Union army.
  • 1861, November Renews friendship with Garrisonians.
  • 1862, December 31 Attends gathering at Boston's Tremont Temple to celebrate the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, effective at midnight.
  • 1863 January 1 Joins in celebrations when announcement arrives that Lincoln has issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • 1863, February 24 Becomes an agent for the U.S. Government to recruit Negro soldiers into the Union Army.
  • 1863, February 27 Issues “Men of Color, To Arms.”
  • 1863, February-July Travels throughout North recruiting black troops; sons Lewis and Charles are among first to enlist; both see action with Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment.
  • 1863, May 28 Sees departure of his two sons at Boston for South Carolina in Massachusetts all-Negro Fifty-Fourth Regiment.
  • 1863, July Visits President Lincoln, protests discrimination against black troops; visits President Lincoln in White House to plead the case of the Negro soldiers discriminated against the Union army; receives assurance from Lincoln that problem will be given every consideration; visits secretary of War Stanton and assured that he will receive a commission in Union Army to Recruit Negro soldiers in South.
  • 1863, August 10 Receives pass from President Lincoln enabling him to go safely through the Union lines.
  • 1863, August 16 Ceases publication of Douglass' Monthly, successor to The North Star and Frederick Douglass' Papers, ending fifteen-year career as editor and stating that he is going to the South to recruit Negro soldiers.
  • 1864, August 25 Called to White House by Lincoln for advice on problems of Lincoln's re-election campaign; reverses earlier stand and endorse Lincoln.
  • 1864, November 17 Returns to Maryland for first visit in twenty-six years; delivers six lectures in Baltimore; is reunited with sister Eliza whom he has not seen for thirty years.
  • 1865, March 4 Attends second Lincoln inauguration, is personally greeted by the president at Inauguration Ball.
  • 1865, April 15 Speaks at memorial meeting in Rochester on evening following the assassination of Lincoln.
  • 1865, April Speaks at annual meeting of Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in Boston on “What the Black Man Wants.”
  • 1865, May 30 Speaks at memorial meeting on life and death of Lincoln called by Negroes of New York City after New York Common Council refused to permit Negroes to participate in the funeral procession when Lincoln's body passed through the city.
  • 1865, August 17 Thanks Mrs. Lincoln for sending him the martyred president's walking stick.
  • 1865, October Delivers lecture at inauguration of Douglass Institute, school for Negro children established in his honor in Baltimore.
  • 1865- After Lincoln's assassination, denounces President Johnson's

1866 - 1887