71 8th St, New Bedford, MA 02740
2018 is the bicentennial of the birth of civil and human rights hero Frederick Douglass. New Bedford, his first free home, celebrates his legacy every year by reading his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave (1845).
Douglass found his way to New Bedford through the Underground Railroad as a 20-year old freedom seeker in the fall of 1838. He earned his first paid wages as a free man gathering and putting away coal for the minister of the First Unitarian Church, Ephraim Peabody. Douglass cast his first vote as a free man in elections in the city.
Douglass and his wife, Anna Murray Douglass were city residents for 5 years, during which time they began their married life and started their family. New Bedford provided the environment and stimulation of ideas that afforded Douglass the opportunity to develop his skills as an abolitionist and civil rights activist for those in bondage.