Frederick Douglass was born in February of 1818 into slavery. In 1838, he escaped on a train and headed north to Maryland, Philadelphia, and eventually New York City, where he took refuge with a well-known abolitionist. There, Douglass became a famous orator and abolitionist, using his rhetoric and oratorical skills to refute the idea that African Americans were incapable of being learned. He later recounted the struggles he faced as a slave through multiple narratives, most notably his autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. The book became an instant bestseller, despite its initial opposition and skeptical reception. Throughout his lifetime, Douglass was a strong advocate for human rights and the abolition of slavery. He passed away in 1895, shortly after attending and speaking at a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, DC.