The two men came from extremely modest means, one even more than the other. Primarily because each understood the rare power of self-education and the gift of books, both went on to have lives of remarkable celebrity, accomplishing extraordinary things for our nation.
One was born in a humble one-room cabin in Kentucky. The other was born into slavery in Maryland. In time, they became two of America’s greatest, most consequential leaders during our nation’s most trying time.
Frederick Douglass taught himself how to read, recognizing in his earliest years that education could be “the pathway from slavery to freedom.” He escaped slavery in Maryland at the age of 20, landing as a free man in New York City in 1838 via stops along the Underground Railroad.
A man of great ambition who possessed a moral conviction of steel, Douglass published his “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave” in 1845 and began an antislavery newspaper, The North