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Sixteen Frederick Douglass quotes

By Travis Miller, Deseret News, Published: Tuesday, Feb. 3 2015 10:43 p.m. MST

Quotes from Frederick Douglas

1. A virtuous nation

"The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous."

–Speech given on the 23rd anniversary of the Emancipation (1885)

2. At any cost

"Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost or trouble, to learn how to read."

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

3. The value of education

"Some men know the value of education by having it. I know its value by not having it."

–Blessings of Liberty and Education (1894) 

4. Slavery of the mind

"To make a contented slave it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken the moral and mental vision and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason."

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

5. Emancipation

"Without education he lives within the narrow, dark and grimy walls of ignorance. Education, on the other hand, means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free. To deny education to any people is one of the greatest crimes against human nature. It is easy to deny them the means of freedom and the rightful pursuit of happiness and to defeat the very end of their being."

–Blessings of Liberty and Education (1894)

6. The strength of family

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."

1855 Letter

7. Right and wrong

"I would unite with anybody to do right; and with nobody to do wrong."

–Speech given in 1855 "The Anti-Slavery Movement"

8. Majority rules

"The man who is right is a majority. We, who have God and conscience on our side, have a majority against the universe."

Frederick Douglass: The Colored Orator

9. The glory of God

"I know there is a hope in religion; I know there is faith and I know there is prayer about religion and necessary to it, but God is most glorified when there is peace on earth and good will towards men."

The Cambridge Companion to Frederick Douglass

10. Hope for the future

"Old as the everlasting hills; immovable as the throne of God; and certain as the purposes of eternal power, against all hindrances, and against all delays, and despite all the mutations of human instrumentalities, it is the faith of my soul that this…cause will triumph."

Extract from the lecture "The Anti-Slavery Movement"

11. Freedom

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."

–Speech given on the 24th anniversary of the Emancipation

12. We are all brethren

"Right is of no sex, truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren."

Douglass' motto as it appeared in his weekly publication The North Star

13. Christianity

"I love the religion of Christianity—which cometh from above—which is a pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of good fruits, and without hypocrisy."

–As quoted by Maurice Lee The Cambridge Companion to Frederick Douglass

14. Religion

"I love that religion which sends its votaries to bind up the wounds of those who have fallen among thieves."

–As quoted by Maurice Lee The Cambridge Companion to Frederick Douglass

15. True slavery

"No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened around his own neck."

-Civil Rights Mass Meeting (1883)

16. Angels and demons

"Men have their choice in this world. They can be angels, or they may be demons."

–As quoted by Maurice Lee The Cambridge Companion to Frederick Douglass

 

Pictures from Wikipedia Commons.