Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.
He became a leader of the abolitionist movement. Douglass also actively supported women's suffrage, and held several public offices. Without his approval, Douglass became the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United States as the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee of Victoria Woodhull on the impracticable, small, but far foreseeing Equal Rights Party ticket.
A firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant, Douglass famously said, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."
Douglass's best-known work is his first autobiography "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave", published in 1845. At the time, some skeptics questioned whether a black man could have produced such an eloquent piece of literature. Within three years, it had been reprinted nine times, with 11,000 copies circulating in the United States. It was also translated into French and Dutch and published in Europe.