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This Day In History: Frederick Douglass Starts Anti-Slavery Newspaper The North Star

Portrait of American orator, editor, author, abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass (1818 - 1895), 1850s. Engraving
Portrait of American orator, editor, author, abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass (1818 - 1895), 1850s. Engraving by A. H. Ritchie. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

On this day in 1847, freed slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass started a newspaper called The North Star.

Douglass launched the paper following his return from Europe. He fled there to avoid being recaptured following the fame he gained as a runaway slave after publishing his autobiography. His supporters in Britain raised the money to purchase his freedom legally and in 1847 he returned to the United States as a legally free man.

The North Star's motto was: "Right is of no Sex - Truth is of no Color - God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren." The abolitionist paper based out of Rochester NY, grew to become one of the most influential black anti-slavery papers published during that era. The paper is reported as having over 4,000 readers, both in the United States and abroad in Europe, in addition to the West Indies.

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