This classic image of Frederick Douglass from the New-York Historical Society is set in epoxy resin and backed with 14 karat gold plated brass. One in a series of five American Abolitionist Miniatures created for the exhibition New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War, the miniature is a 2 oval and includes a silk ribbon for hanging on the wall or Christmas tree. Douglass' quote "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men" is inscribed on the back, and an informative history card is included in the elegant blue gift box.
"I was nothing before-I was a man now," wrote Frederick Douglass (1817?-1895) in describing an event in his late teens. He had wrestled Edward Covey, a brutal "slavebreaker," to the ground. The shamefaced Covey told no one.
Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, vowed to resist and flee bondage. The son of an enslaved woman on a Maryland plantation and an unknown white man, Bailey learned to read and write-skills denied to enslaved children. In 1838, while laboring in Baltimore harbor, he disguised himself as a sailor and fled to freedom. (He took the name Douglass to escape recapture.)
Douglass spoke so eloquently that some doubted he had been enslaved. So in 1845, he wrote his autobiography. In 1847, he founded The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper. He later served as an adviser to Abraham Lincoln, a government official, and minister to Haiti. When a young black student asked for civil rights advice in 1895, Douglass boomed, "Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!"