About Frederick Douglass


“I would unite with anyone to do right and with nobody to do wrong.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Though born a slave around 1818, Frederick Douglass would become one of the world’s foremost champions of human freedom. A self-taught man, his life as an author, orator, newspaper editor, U.S. Colored Troops Recruiter, and U.S. Ambassador to Haiti stood as a counter-example to the then largely held belief that slaves did not possess the intellectual capacity to live in freedom alongside their white counterparts. Although posterity primarily aligns him with the abolition of slavery, Douglass firmly believed in the equality of all people regardless of race, gender and creed.

Douglass and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania share a long and storied history together. In fact, it was at one of the FDI Partner campuses, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, that he gave his final speech on February 1, 1895. It is the goal of the FDI to move forward in the spirit of this great orator in an effort to ensure that his legacy lives on through the students of our partner campuses.

douglass writings

Teaching American History – Frederick Douglass

Historical sites

Frederick Douglass National Historical Site
Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center

douglass archives

Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress
Documenting the American South