This Day in Black History: Dec. 3, 1847

Frederick Douglass and The North Star

This Day in Black History: Dec. 3, 1847

Frederick Douglass published the first issue of the North Star, an anti-slavery paper on Dec. 3, 1847.

Published November 30, 2012

After years of being an avid reader of The Liberator, a weekly newspaper published by William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass decided to start his own newspaper on Dec. 3, 1847.

The North Star, as it was named, was known for its staunch positions against slavery. Douglass was, to be sure, one of the major anti-slavery figures of his age, having written several books and eloquently describing his experiences in slavery in his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, which became influential in its support for abolition.

Douglass was also well known as a strong advocate of equality, whether Black, female, Native American or immigrant. He moved to Rochester, New York, to publish the first edition of his newspaper.

When questioned on his decision to create the North Star, Douglass is said to have responded, “I still see before me a life of toil and trials ... but, justice must be done, the truth must be told ... I will not be silent."

Douglass published the North Star until 1851, when it was merged with the Liberty Party Paper to form Frederick Douglass’ Paper.

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(Photos: Public Domain)

Written by Jonathan P. Hicks


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