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Welcome to The Frederick Douglass Papers

Born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland, Frederick Douglass (1818-95) became one of the most influential human rights activist of the nineteenth century, as well as an internationally acclaimed statesmen, orator, editor, and author. The Frederick Douglass Papers collects, edits, and publishes in books and online the speeches, letters, autobiographies, and other writings of Frederick Douglass. The project's primary aim has been to make the surviving works by this African American figure accessible to a broad audience, much as similar projects have done for the papers of notable white historical and literary figures.

Explore Frederick Douglass Papers Online

The Frederick Douglass Papers Digital Edition offers more than 800 documents from the project's volumes. This online resource will ultimately contain all of the content of the multi-volume Yale University Press print edition of Douglass’s speeches, autobiographies, correspondence, other writings, all the unpublished correspondence, as well as other unpublished materials including editorial and speech tests.

Explore the Digital Edition

Do you want to help transcribe Frederick Douglass documents that will eventually be included in the digital edition here? We have documents available in FromThePage, a crowdsourcing platform you can find HERE


"If there is no struggle there is no progress…. Power concedes nothing without a demand, It never did and it never will."

From the speech, "The Significance of Emancipation in the West Indies," 3 August 1857, Douglass Papers, ser. 1, 3:204.

"I have never yet been able to find one consideration, one argument, or suggestion in favor of man's right to participate in civil government which did not equally apply to the right of women."

Autobiography: Life and Times, 1881, p. 371.