On August 11, 1841, Frederick Douglass—an escaped slave—gave a riveting anti-slavery speech in front of a mixed-race audience for the first time, solidifying himself as a leader of the abolitionist movement. He had learned to read and write during his childhood, though many people sought to stop and punish him for it. After his escape, he became a legendary orator and author, publishing multiple accounts of his life as a slave and as a free man.
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