Carlisle's Chesapeake

Women in the World of Frederick Douglass with Leigh Fought

Episode Summary

Women, including his wife, Anna Murray, daughter, Rosetta Sprague, and two European women, Julia Griffiths and Ottilie Assing, played important roles in the life of Frederick Douglass.

Episode Notes

Leigh Fought, Ph.D., professor at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY, recounts Frederick Douglass's 25 years in Rochester, New York, an area that was known as the "Burned over" District in the 1840's period of America.  A hotbed of religious and social movements, Quakers, Abolitionists, Methodists and Suffragettes gained momentum in this area of Upper State and Central New York which was still considered the Western Frontier.

Frederick Douglass moved his family from Lynn, Massachusetts to Rochester during this time.  Dr. Fought describes the encounters he has with segregated schools for his daughter, Rosetta.   She also shows the parallels in the lives of Frederick and his wife Rosetta, a woman who was free when he married her but he was still "owned" by his master, and Nathan Sprague, a runaway slave from Maryland who married Douglass's daughter, Rosetta, a woman who was born free.

Douglass during his Rochester period breaks away from William Lloyd Garrison, the leader and his employer of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  He continues to travel extensively on the public speaking circuit to agitate about slavery all the while beginning to publish "The North Star" with the help of his family and several European women.  The Republican Party is coming into being during this Antebellum Period.  During this formative period in Douglass's life, it is a path of moral suasion not adhering to the radical physicality of John Brown that Frederick chooses to change the course of American history.