Born: February 1817 (exact date uncertain) Died: February 20, 1895
Frederick Douglass once told a group of African American students from a school in Talbot County, Maryland, "What was possible for me is possible for you. Do not think because you are colored you cannot accomplish anything. Strive earnestly to add to your knowledge. So long as you remain in ignorance, so long will you fail to command the respect of your fellow men." Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey to a slave mother and a white father he never knew, Frederick Douglass grew up to become a leader in the abolitionist movement and the first black citizen to hold high rank (as U.S. minister and consul general to Haiti) in the U.S. government.