Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Written by Himself (Full Text). Frederick Douglass was a man of his time and race, a leader and fighter against the irrational and inhuman treatment of the blacks. This narrative is one of the most influential among African-American books denouncing the Institution of Slavery. It was written in 1845, over fifty years after the narrative of the great son of Africa Olaudah Equiano (1797). Being a slave himself, the accounts Douglass narrates are very important as a primary source describing the endurances and tribulations he had suffered under the slavery of the Southern territories, especially in Maryland. His life was full of bitterness, grief and sorrow; but certainly he became a great man indeed...also against all odds.