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Word Count: 2,038
Sincerely and earnestly hoping that this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system and hastening the glad day of deliverance to the millions of my brethren in bondsrelying upon the power of truth love and justice for success in myefforts and solemnly pledging myself anew to the sacred cause I subscribe myself 76 With these words Frederick Douglass ended one of the greatest pieces of propaganda of the 19th century Douglass wrote his autobiography as an abolitionist tool to shape his northern audiences view of southern slaveholders Through personal anecdotes Douglass drew an accurate picture of the life of a slave At the same time these events were chosen for how they would affect the northern audiences opinion of southern slaveholders By using the written word Douglass and fellow abolitionists targeted educated northern whites because they were the only group who could change the status quo Illiterate northern whites and free northern blacks could not vote while white southerners would not vote because they did not want change Therefore Douglass used his life story as a tool to promote abolition among literate northern whites Frederick Douglass used family relationships starting with his birth to tug at the heartstrings of his targeted audience He never knew the true identity of his father but it was whispered 2 that it was his master Douglass mentioned this to show how the slave holder in many cases sustains to his slaves the double relation of master and father 2 This was so commonplace that it was by law established that the children of women shall in all cases follow the condition of their mother 2 This meant that these bastard children were to be slaves despite their paternal heritage because their mother was a slave The effect was to shock and offend the morals of the conservative northern whites People involved in adulteress and interracial relationships were scorned by northern society
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