Library of Congress
Born a slave in 1818 in Eastern Maryland, Frederick Douglass became an outspoken 19th-century American abolitionist. The self-educated Douglas escaped slavery by disguising himself as a sailor and later took up residence in New Bedford. He risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken anti-slavery lecturer, writer, and newspaper publisher. He became a trusted advisor to President Abraham Lincoln in the antebellum (pre-Civil War) period.