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Catalog Data

Unidentified Artist  Search this
Frederick Douglass, Feb 1818 - 20 Feb 1895  Search this
Quarter-plate ambrotype
Image: 10.6 x 8.6cm (4 3/16 x 3 3/8")
Case (open): 11.9 x 19.1 x 1.3cm (4 11/16 x 7 1/2 x 1/2")
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. His 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. His "glowing logic, biting irony, melting appeals, and electrifying eloquence" astonished and enthralled his audiences. As this ambrotype suggests, Douglass’s power was also rooted in the sheer impressiveness of his bearing, which abolitionist and activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton likened to that of "an African prince, majestic in his wrath."
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache  Search this
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Beard  Search this
Personal Attribute\Hairstyle\Afro  Search this
Cased object  Search this
Frederick Douglass: Male  Search this
Frederick Douglass: Literature\Writer  Search this
Frederick Douglass: Education\Educator\Lecturer  Search this
Frederick Douglass: Communications\Publisher\Newspaper  Search this
Frederick Douglass: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister  Search this
Frederick Douglass: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist  Search this
Frederick Douglass: Society and Social Change\Enslaved person  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquired through the generosity of an anonymous donor
Object number:
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery