Frederick Douglass

by ethnic on December 1, 2009

Birth Name: Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

Date of Birth: c. February, 1818

Place of Birth: Talbot County, Maryland, U.S.

Date of Death: February 20, 1895

Place of Death: Washington, D.C., U.S.

Ethnicity: African-American, likely English

Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, diplomat, journalist, writer, and statesman.

He was the Equal Rights Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1872, as the running mate of Presidential nominee Victoria Woodhull. He also received a vote for the nomination for President of the United States at the 1888 Republican National Convention.

Frederick was born into slavery. His mother, Harriet Bailey, was black, and also a slave.

It is not clear who Frederick’s biological father was. He may have been Aaron Anthony, a white overseer of slaves.

Frederick was married to abolitionist Anna Murray-Douglass, until her death. The couple had five children. Frederick was then married to suffragist and abolitionist Helen Pitts Douglass, until his death. Helen was white.

Frederick’s maternal grandparents were Isaac Bailey and Betsey.

Frederick is also said to have had Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this Native American ancestry has been documented/verified.


Genealogy of Frederick Douglass –

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew April 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm

There’s no evidence of English ancestry for his alleged father

“Likely European” would be more correct

sashafierce564 July 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm

His father is white and his mother is black!

Robert February 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

“Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Tuckahoe, Talbot County, Maryland, and originally was named Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. He was of mixed African, white, and Indian ancestry, but other than that, he knew little of his family background or even his exact date of birth. Douglass believed that he was born in February, 1817, yet subsequent research indicates that he may have been born a year later in February, 1818. Douglass never knew his father or anything about him except that he was a white man, possibly his master. Douglass’ mother was Harriet Bailey…”

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confused504 June 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

his father was a white master but he never saw him

msdawn0818 March 18, 2011 at 8:14 pm

His father was white. I’m a descendant of Frederick Douglass. My grandmother’s mother was a Bailey and they hail from North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. Pearl Bailey is also a distant relative.

afroaristocrat June 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm

WOAH! hey cousin!! some of my cousins are descendents of Frederick douglas. we’re kin!

Fuzzybear April 3, 2010 at 11:15 am

To LiL V4CH4

That’s not uncommon,they loved laying down with black women

LiL V4CH4 April 3, 2010 at 11:01 am

I heard that he had a White father.

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