Frederick Douglass was born this day, Feb. 7, 1817. A former slave, he had become an abolitionist and a commanding spokesman for slaves. His powerful orations exposed the injustices of slavery and championed their right to life and liberty. In retelling of his conversion, Frederick Douglass said: "I loved all mankind, slaveholder not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever. I saw the world in a new light. ... I gathered scattered pages of the Bible from the filthy street gutters and washed and dried them, that ... I might get a word or two of wisdom from them."