The year 1895 was a significant one for African Americans. It saw both the death of Frederick Douglass and the emergence of Booker T. Washington as a national race leader. Douglass was the best known, and most influential, black spokesperson in the United States during the 50-year period 1845 to 1895. Washington was the dominant race leader for the 20 years that followed, between 1895 and 1915. It was, perhaps, inevitable that contemporaries, as well as later historians, should compare and contrast the lives and careers of the two men.