Frederick Douglass was born in slavery as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey near Easton, Talbot County, Maryland. He was not sure of the exact of his birth, but knew the year was 1817 or 1818. As a boy he was sent to Baltimore to be a house servant, where he learned to read and write, with the assistance of his master's wife. In 1838, he escaped from and went to New York City, where he married Anna Murray, a free black woman whom he had met in Baltimore. Soon thereafter he changed his name to Frederick Douglass. In 1841, he addressed a convention of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in Nantucket and so greatly impressed the group that they immediately employed him as an agent. He was such an impressive that numerous persons doubted if he had ever been a slave, so to his life experiences, he wrote Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845).
(Excerpt from ‘Frederick Douglass’, americanliterature.com)