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Wendell Phillips is another famous abolitionist, and Douglass includes this letter as a kind of second introduction. There are three main things worth noticing:
First, Phillips points out how important it is that we are about to read a book about slavery that was actually written by a slave.
Second, Phillips wants us to notice that Douglass is still only a child when he starts to realize that slavery is wrong.
And finally, Phillips points out that Douglass was a slave in Maryland, the part of the South where slavery was supposed to be the least brutal. If Douglass's experience is as good as it gets, imagine how bad slavery must be elsewhere.