Frederick Douglass found both opportunity and limits in New Bedford – News –

Editor’s Note: This story is part of an ongoing Standard-Times series done in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass. New Bedford was the first city Douglass lived in after he escaped slavery and it is here he developed into an orator and anti-slavery activist.   

In the bustling port town of New Bedford in 1838, the year a young and unknown Frederick Douglass arrived, you could buy “free labor” groceries — things like coffee and sugar, produced without slave labor, from a small number of shops owned by black abolitionists.

People who had the means and the mind bought slavery-free candy and ordered highly esteemed cakes from a prosperous African-American confectioner named Mary “Polly”…

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