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Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass
Artist
Unidentified Artist
Sitter
Frederick Douglass, Feb 1818 - 20 Feb 1895
Date
c. 1850 (after c. 1847 daguerreotype)
Type
Photograph
Medium
Sixth-plate daguerreotype
Dimensions
Image/Sight: 6.6 × 5.3 cm (2 5/8 × 2 1/16")
Mat (brass): 8.3 × 7 cm (3 1/4 × 2 3/4")
Case open: 9.3 × 16.8 × 0.9 cm (3 11/16 × 6 5/8 × 3/8")
Case closed: 9.3 × 8.4 × 1.8 cm (3 11/16 × 3 5/16 × 11/16")
Topic
Interior
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Nature & Environment\Plant\Flower
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie\Bowtie
Cased object
Frederick Douglass: Male
Frederick Douglass: Literature\Writer
Frederick Douglass: Education\Educator\Lecturer
Frederick Douglass: Communications\Publisher\Newspaper
Frederick Douglass: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister
Frederick Douglass: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist
Frederick Douglass: Society and Social Change\Enslaved person
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.80.21
Exhibition Label
Born near Easton, Maryland
In the years following his escape from bondage in 1838, Frederick Douglass emerged as a powerful and persuasive spokesman for the cause of abolition. Douglass’s effectiveness as an antislavery advocate was due in large measure to his firsthand experience with the evils of slavery and his extraordinary skill as an orator whose “electrifying eloquence” astonished and enthralled his audiences. Convinced that a peaceful end to slavery was impossible, Douglass embraced the Civil War as a fight for emancipation and called for the enlistment of black troops. Throughout the decades that followed, he remained a tireless champion for civil rights.
In 1845, when the publication of his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass revealed biographical details that could have led to his capture as a fugitive from slavery, Douglass left the United States for an extended stay in Great Britain. He was warmly welcomed by British abolitionists, who raised the funds to purchase his freedom, thereby enabling Douglass to return to the United States in 1847 as a free man. In this daguerreotype, believed to date from the time of his return, Douglass confronts the camera with an intensity that became the hallmark of his photographic portraits.
Frederick Douglass 1818–1895 Nacido cerca de Easton, Maryland
Después de escapar a la esclavitud en 1838, Frederick Douglass se convirtió en un impactante y persuasivo portavoz de la causa abolicionista. Su eficacia se debía en gran medida a que había vivido en carne propia las atrocidades de la esclavitud y a su extraordinario talento oratorio, cuya “elocuencia electrizante” causaba asombro y fascinación entre el público. Convencido de que era posible un final pacífico de la esclavitud, Douglass acogió la Guerra Civil como una lucha por la emancipación y promovió el alistamiento de soldados negros. En las décadas siguientes, continuó luchando sin descanso por los derechos civiles.
En 1845, cuando la publicación de su libro Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass reveló detalles autobiográficos que podrían conducir a su captura por ser un esclavo fugitivo, Douglass partió de Estados Unidos hacia una prolongada estadía en Gran Bretaña. Los abolicionistas británicos le prodigaron una cálida acogida y recaudaron fondos para comprar su libertad, lo cual le permitió regresar a Estados Unidos en 1847 como hombre libre. En este daguerrotipo, que se adjudica a la época de su regreso, Douglass confronta a la cámara con la intensidad que se convertiría en sello distintivo de sus fotografías.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery