Frederick Douglass

Douglas c. 1879, National Archives and Records Administration, DOD War and Conflict CD collection

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 served as U.S. Minister Resident to Haiti, from June 26, 1889 to July 1891.

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 grandfather was named Isaac Bailey.

Frederick’s maternal grandmother was named Betsey.

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


Genealogy of Frederick Douglass –

Genealogy of Frederick Douglass (focusing on his mother’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

9 Responses

  1. andrew says:

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

    “Likely European” would be more correct

    • JayD271 says:

      Fredrick Douglass knew for sure his father was a White man he just didn’t know who? “Likely British” would be best since the vast majority of African Americans’s European ancestry is of British/Irish ancestry if we’re talking about the European blood from slavery.

  2. sashafierce564 says:

    His father is white and his mother is black!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.