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Twenty-three years after escaping slavery, Fredrick Douglass became this country’s foremost social reformer and moral agitator. Once free, Frederick chose the new surname of Douglass, moved to Massachusetts, and married Anna Murray [Douglass]. There he joined several anti-slavery organizations and regularly attended abolitionist meetings. While at one-such meeting, Douglass was invited to speak. Then just 23 years old, Douglass gave an eloquent and enlightened speech and was encouraged to become an antislavery lecturer. As a newspaperman and publisher, he advocated for African American’s right to fight for their own freedom and was instrumental in organizing the country’s first black troops.