By 1855, Frederick Douglass was one of the most renowned and well-known African American lecturers in the world. He spoke at various locations throughout New England with some regularity, particularly in the area between Rochester, New York City, and Boston, during the year of 1855. He continued to act as the Editor of Frederick Douglass’ Paper, though his continued speaking tours and absences suggest that much of the day-to-day management of the paper fell on the shoulders of Julia Griffiths, particularly during the first half of 1855. Douglass was highly in demand as a lecturer, and sources record that on several occasions he sent out friends such as Willam Watkins to lecture in his stead as a result of his full schedule. His lectures were predominantly focused upon the horrors of slavery and the continuation of anti-slavery efforts, though he did occasionally lecture upon topics like education and self-improvement. His published writings in Frederick Douglass’ Paper throughout 1855 addressed a much wider range of topics. Douglass joined other speakers and authors in defending the plan for an Industrial College presented at various conventions and committee meetings throughout 1855. That year, he also published the second edition of his autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom, which included significant expansions from his original text, such as a description of his recent ideological split with the Garrisonian abolitionists.


Rosalie Hooper, English 641, Spring 2016. Taught by Professor P. Gabrielle Foreman, University of Delaware.