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...

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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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Yes, Frederick Douglass's autobiography is definitely a primary source, regardless of when the actual book you have was published.  A primary source is simply one created by a person with first-hand knowledge of the events and times described and which was created at or near the time in question.

Of course, Douglass had first-hand knowledge of his own life.  As for the time element, his autobiography was, of course, not written during his childhood or his days as a slave.  However, it was still close enough in time to those events for it to qualify.

The date of publication is not relevant to whether something is a primary source.  What matters is who wrote it and when.

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