Black and white illustration of Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

by Frederick Douglass
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Is the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass a true primary source even though it was republished? Ive been reading the unabridged Dover republication of 1995, and Im not sure if it is still a primary source since it was republished?

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As other have said, the copy of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass you have is definitely a primary source. I wonder if you are confusing the term "primary source" with the term "first edition"? A first edition refers to the first print run of a work, which often is only a few thousand volumes. First editions, especially if they were small runs, tend to be valued because of their limited quantities.

A primary source, however, is simply an eyewitness account. A source is first-person if it is an eyewitness account, regardless of how many times it is reprinted. Frederick Douglass was a slave and offers a firsthand narrative of what slavery was like from the point of view of a former slave. Although his story is polished and modified a bit to appeal to the white, Christian audience he wanted to persuade to support abolition (Douglass, for example, was careful not to criticize Christianity too harshly for condoning slavery), it is still an extremely valuable...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 511 words.)

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