As a free man, Douglass initially worked as a manual laborer. Yet the prospect of earning low wages did not discourage him:
“The thoughts—‘I can work! I can work for a living; I am not afraid of work; I have no Master Hugh to rob me of my earnings’—placed me in a state of independence, beyond seeking friendship or support of any man.”
(Bondage, p. 260).
Later, Douglass amassed a small fortune through income from his speaking and writing. He invested in several enterprises to benefit black Americans, “including low-income housing developments in his old neighborhood in Fells Point (named Douglass Place) and at Highland Beach, a summer resort community for African-Americans outside of Annapolis.” (The Talbot Historical Society)
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