What was Frederick Douglass's main persuasive purpose in writing My Bondage and My Freedom?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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My Bondage and My Freedom was an extension, with some revision, of Frederick Douglass's 1845 autobiography entitled Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  Douglass states in the introduction that his purpose is to expose his background and reveal the "secrets and crimes of slavery and slaveholders".  Despite the title, which might lead one to believe that the chapters are evenly divided between Douglass's life as a slave and his life as a free man, most of the narrative focuses on Douglass's life as one man owned by another.  Interestingly, Douglass mentions working in a shipyard, where he is paid wages which he saves up to finance his escape North; although he is apparently still enslaved, thus rendering an escape possible, he has been given the freedom to work for pay.  From here, he begins to discuss adjusting to life as a free man, a state that apparently suits him well, as he is shortly communicating with prominent abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison, writing, traveling, speaking, and generally telling his story to anyone who will listen. 

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