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David W. Blight is the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University.
As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave mistress, and he would to on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. HisDavid very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.
David Blight, has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers.