My Bondage and My Freedom
“For my own part, I had now become altogether too big for my chains.” So wrote Frederick Douglass in My Bondage and My Freedom, describing his first attempt to escape slavery in 1836. Along with his earlier, bestselling Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845), this second autobiography by the celebrated abolitionist and social reformer sought to both illustrate the cruelty of slavery and advance the case for its abolition. Written in two parts, “Life as a Slave” and “Life as a Freeman,” the book first recounts Douglass’s early life in Maryland and the violence of his youth, and then his life as a freeman and his work alongside other abolitionists to end the inhuman institution.
Currently on View at Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
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