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Frederick Douglass

@ National Portrait Gallery

E. W. Bouvé Lithography Co


Born into slavery, Frederick Douglass was determined by his early teens to escape his bondage. In 1838, he fled northward to settle in Massachusetts, where he became a key figure in the abolitionist movement. He gained widespread respect for his 1845 autobiography and zealous, eloquent oratorical skills.The theme of fugitive slaves in popular imagery and contemporary songs of the 1840s reflected either the anxiety of slaveholders or mounting support for the abolitionist cause. This music sheet cover of “The Fugitive’s Song” turns on its head the traditional newspaper advertisement for a fugitive slave to honor the esteemed leader. Although it depicts Douglass neither as writer not orator, but as a barefooted slave in flight, pointing at a signpost to New England seen on the right, the text below praises Douglass for his “fearless advocacy.” The song was one of a number of abolitionist compositions created by Jesse Hutchinson of the famous Hutchinson Family singers.Al llegar a la adolescencia, Frederick Douglass, quien nació esclavo, ya estaba resuelto a escapar de su esclavitud. En 1838, se fugó hacia el norte y se estableció en Massachusetts, donde se convirtió en una figura clave del movimiento abolicionista. Llegó a ser muy respetado por su autobiografía (1845) y por su elocuencia oratoria.El tema de los esclavos fugitivos en la imaginería popular y las canciones de la década de 1840 reflejaba por un lado la ansiedad de los amos y por otro el creciente apoyo a la causa abolicionista. Esta portada de la partitura de “La...
Lithograph On Paper
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National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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National Portrait Gallery

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Smithsonian Institution