He was born in his grandmother’s cabin, along Tuckahoe creek, to his mother Harriet Bailey. 1. B Harriet Bailey was a slave therefore when she gave birth to her child he also became a slave. Frederick’s mother was an African American while his father’s name was never known it was a known fact that he was a white man. Due to his 2. white father, black mother, and the American Indian he had from his grandmother, he was in fact a mulatto. As a child it was rumored that Frederick’s master was also his father.
This was very common back then for the masters to satisfy themselves through their slaves. Children that were fathered by their owner were a constant offense to their mistress because the 4. master may show favor to his children that are not hers. These children could never please the mistress and she enjoyed them getting into trouble. Like most slaves when Frederick was born he was 3. A taken from his mother at only a few weeks old. Throughout his childhood 3. C he saw his mother very few times, and only during the night. When he was seven years old his mother died, and he was not allowed to be present at the end of her life.
After he was taken from his parents he spent the 3. B early years of his life with his grandparents and with his aunt. Growing up Frederick Douglass had two masters, Captain Anthony and Colonel Lloyd. While living on these plantations there were various rules and ways that things happened. Slaves weren’t given the same rules as white people. Not only did slaves have little freedom, but they were also limited to the amount of food and clothing they were given. 5. A. 1 eight pounds of meat and one bushel of corn meal per month. 5. A. “two coarse linen shirts, one pair of linen trousers, like the shirts, one jacket, one pair of trousers for winter, made of coarse negro cloth, one pair of stockings, and one pair of shoes; the whole of which could not have cost more than seven dollars. ” (47) this was the amount of clothing allowed for adults each year. 5. B Children who were not old enough to work were only given two linen shirts per year. If these shirts were worn out or out grown, the children would walk naked. Often on plantations questionable things would happen such as slaves being beaten, starved, highly mistreated, and even murdered.
Murders are wrong on every level but especially to those that have previously been tortured and are defenseless. On Colonel Lloyd’s plantation he had an overseer named Mr. Gore that was unnecessarily cruel to slaves. Slaves feared Mr. Gore and preferred not to be around him. Overseers could do things to slaves and go unpunished for them. Mr. Gore murdered a man by the name of Demby, and got away with it. Demby had been whipped and when he went to cool the burning in the creek, Gore gave him three chances to come out of the water and he didn’t, Mr. Gore shot and killed him at point blank range.
When asked about his actions Mr. Gore told Colonel Lloyd, 6. A “that Demby had become unmanageable. He was setting a dangerous example to the other slaves, –one which, if suffered to pass without some such demonstration on his part, would finally lead to the total subversion of all rule and order upon the plantation. He argued that if one slave refused to be corrected, and escaped with his life, the other slaves would be, the other slaves would soon copy the example; the result of which would be, the freedom of slaves, and the enslavement of whites” (57). With this bogus explanation Mr.
Gore got away with the murder of Demby. Mr. Gore also destroyed some of Colonel Lloyd’s property and used the same excuse saying 6. B that it was for the better of the white man and the slave was out of hand. It is learned that an overseer can be fired for not being cruel enough, but a murder is just part of the job. Between the ages of seven and eight Frederick became excited when he learned that his Master Anthony was sending him away to Baltimore. He was being sent to Master Hugh Auld and was so excited. Frederick had no family ties to where he was living.
When Frederick arrived he was shocked at the kindness of his new mistress. Sophia Auld was different than other white ladies, she was kind and gentle. As time went on however, Miss Sophia turned mean like the others, 7. “this kind heart had but a short time to remain such. The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. ” (63). With the illegal help of Miss Sophia, Frederick 8. B began learning to read. Mrs. Auld began teaching Frederick the ABC’s before she was caught by her husband. With this new knowledge Frederick taught himself to read as much as possible.
Frederick also had the sense to convince the younger white boys to teach him to read while he was on his errands. Frederick taught himself to write by paying close attention to the letters on the timber at the ship-yard. After he would learn these letters he would challenge a young white boy of who could write more letters and he would copy what they wrote. Also, when Miss Sophia would go to town he would use her sons used copy books from school and write in them. With these things, chalk, and the wall Frederick taught himself to write. Mr.
Auld became very angry with his wife when he learned that she was teaching him to read. Teaching a slave to read was highly frowned upon because the white men wanted the slaves to stay mentally in the dark. Mr. Auld thought that if Frederick was taught to read he would 9. B. 1 “at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. ” (64). Mr. Auld also told his wife that by teaching the young slave to read she would 9. B. 2 make him unhappy in the long run, and that he would forever be discontent. Despite what Frederick had heard Mr. Auld say, he continued to further his education and learning to read and write. . A “I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty—to wit, the white man’s power to enslave the black man. It was a grand achievement, and I prized it highly. ” (64), it was with this said that he realized the pathway to freedom. Realizing this had given him the motivation to continue learning; however, he often thought learning to read was a curse. 9. C “It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon when to get out. ” (68), he often wished that he didn’t have the knowledge to know the difference in what could be, and what his reality was.
When one travels in the country they learn the differences in the way people act or the way they are treated. Moving from Colonel Lloyd’s plantation to Baltimore, Frederick experienced the difference in how country slaves and city slaves were treated. 10. “A city slave is almost a freeman, compared with a slave on the plantation. He is much better fed and clothed, and enjoys privileges altogether unknown to the slave on the plantation. There is a vestige of decency, a sense of shame, that does much to curb and cheek those outbreaks of atrocious cruelty so commonly enacted upon the plantation. (64-65). Slaveholders in the city took pride in treating their slaves well; this was unheard of in the country. In the city there were also cruel mistresses that unnecessarily beat their slaves and kept them under fed. Slaves were traded back and forth and handled as property. They were not treated as human beings with feelings, but traded about like animals. When a master would die his “property” would be sent back for an evaluation to be distributed among other owners. After being sent through an evaluation Frederick was sent back to Baltimore.
Through all the trading he was sent to a man named Master Thomas, who thought Frederick was a useless slave. Master Thomas sent Frederick to Mr. Covey, who was known as a “nigger-breaker”. When Frederick finally became a field hand in 1833, it was 11. A Mr. Covey who succeeded in breaking him. While working for Mr. Covey, Douglass passed out from the heat and exhaustion. When Mr. Covey found him he unnecessarily beat him and made him bleed profusely. Frederick returned to his old master for help, but was turned away. Upon returning to Mr. Covey, he was faced with being beaten again. Frederick ran and hid, and when he finally went back, Mr.
Covey was nice to him. The following morning Frederick was woken up very early to do some stable work. Mr. Covey came into the stable to finally whip Frederick for his actions, but Frederick’s anger and detest for slavery surfaced and began to fight back with Mr. Covey. The struggle continued for a couple of hours, with the victory falling into the hands of Frederick. Mr. Covey however tried to play if off like had won, 11. B. 1 “we were at it for nearly two hours. Covey at length let me go, puffing and blowing at a great rate, saying that if I had not resisted, he would not have whipped me half so much.
The truth was, that he had not whipped me at all. ” (88). Mr. Covey was justifying what he did making himself seem more powerful, when he had in no way defeated Frederick. The battle with Mr. Covey was the turning point in Frederick’s career as a slave, 11. B. 2 “It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood. It recalled the departed of self confidence, and inspired me again with the determination to be free” (89). Frederick knew that he had won the fight with Mr. Covey not only physically but also because he had once again found his will to be free. After leaving Mr.
Covey in 1834, Frederick went to live with a man named Mr. Freeland. Mr. Freeland was Frederick’s favorite master; he was kind to his slaves. While living with Mr. Freeland, Frederick decided he was going to plan his escape to freedom. He did not want to this alone so with him, 12. A “Henry Harris, John Harris, Henry Bailey, Charles Robert” (96) were the men that were going to attempt to escape slavery with Frederick. Frederick and the men had plans to 12. B steal a canoe from Mr. Hamilton and make their way up to Chesapeake Bay. To get past the white men who could suspect them as runaway slaves, 12.
C Frederick made false passes and signed Mr. Hamilton’s name to them. On the Saturday morning that was planned for their escape, Mr. Hamilton and some other men came to Mr. Freeland’s. Someone had told on them for the fake passes, and they were taken to jail. Their plan to escape had miserably failed. After Frederick got released from jail he was sent back to Baltimore. His master hired him to a man named Mr. William Gardner, because he was afraid that Frederick would be killed. Mr. Gardner owned and ship-yard and Frederick was to do whatever the workers told him to do.
While working in Mr. Gardner’s ship-yard, Frederick was struck by a white man, just like before, he hit the white man back. When this happened several white men surrounded him and all together they beat him terribly. Frederick returned to his Master Hugh and explained to him what had happened. Mr. Hugh decided he was going to try and help Frederick but the gentlemen were told unless a white man would testify, they could not be helped. Although there were over fifty white ship-carpenters to witness this fight none of them would testify because 13. the slightest manifestation of humanity toward a colored person was denounced as abolitionism, and that named subjected its bearer to frightful liabilities. ” (105). Even those white men who thought he was right could not testify for him in fear of what the other white men would say or do to them. After falling short to having the white men punished, Mr. Hugh would not allow Frederick to return to Mr. Gardner’s ship-yard. He was instead taken to the ship-yard of man named Walter Price. After going to Mr. Price’s Frederick was immediately taught new things. While at Mr. Price’s ship-yard Frederick learned to 14.
A calk, and “learned the art of using my mallet and irons” (105). Frederick became very skilled in what he was doing and began to contract his own, and even had some days to take off. 14. B Frederick was earning one and a half dollars a day, and between six and nine dollars a week. This was excellent money for a colored man, but unfortunately he did not get to keep his money. At the end of each week, Frederick would take his earnings to Master Hugh 14. C simply because Master Hugh had the power to take it from him. Working for Mr. Hugh and making good money gave Frederick got a job with Mr. utler and returned there every day doing his work. He continued taking his wages to Mr. Hugh at the end of each week. 15. A He did this week after week so that Mr. Hugh would not suspect his intentions to run away. 8. A Douglass had spent fourteen years in slavery and he had finally made the decision and the correct plans to escape. While on his journey, Frederick dressed as a sailor to fool people into not suspecting him, 15. B Douglass met a shop captain and a German black smith. Luckily, these gentlemen did not betray him or turn him in. Frederick also had the help of a woman named Anna Murray, who also did not betray his trust.
After arriving in New York, Douglass wandered and hid on the streets of Manhattan. Frederick finally found a man by the name of David Ruggles, who protected him. 17. When David Ruggles took Frederick and his girl, Anna, in he knew that his name needed to be changed. Frederick told David that he could choose his name. Mr. Ruggles had just completed “Lady of the Lake” and decided that his new name would be Frederick Douglass. Frederick decided that he would keep this name. 15. C,D Frederick Douglass spend a few years in slavery and gained his freedom through those of abolitionism and through his writings and speeches.
After running away Frederick knew that he could trust any white man, “I saw in every white man an enemy, and in almost every colored man cause for distrust. ”(112). 16. Frederick knew to trust no man because he knew any one man could be the one to turn him in. Being a slave, Frederick Douglass had a scarce view on religion. People of the South defended slavery saying that slaves did not deserve the chance to become Christians. Douglass thinks it is very wrong that slaveholders can withhold knowledge of the Lord from the slaves. 18.
A “He who sells my sister, for purposes of prostitution, stands form as the pious advocate of purity. He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me. ” (120). Douglass thought that these Christians were hypocrites. With the false idea of Christianity in the South, there were also the wrong ideas about the songs that the slaves sang. Most thought that when the slaves were singing, they were happy, when in reality it was a sad way for them to express their discontentment. 18.
B “they would make the dense old woods, for miles around, reverberate with their wild songs, revealing at once the highest joy and the deepest sadness. ”(49) the slaves would sing songs that white men often thought were joyous when they were in fact just the slaves singing to one another about how unhappy they were. When Frederick Douglass travelled North he was disappointed with what he found. 19. A Frederick was under the impression that there were few luxuries and comforts to those in the North because they didn’t own any slaves to make them money.
He also expected the North to be very simple and have no kind of advances. Frederick was very wrong with both of his ideas. 19. B He also discovered in the North that African Americans were living the life of working, paying, their own bills, and keeping what they made. As Frederick Douglass moved on in life he began to speak and to write about his struggles growing up. Once in New York City he was asked why slaved “don’t rise and throw off the yoke” (144), Frederick told them they were as bad as slaveholder because like them they would preach one thing and act something completely different. 0. “If you have thus wronged the poor black man, by stripping him of his freedom, how are you going to give evidence of your repentance? ” (144)
Frederick knew that they were not as good as they claimed because he knew the things that they had said about the slaves, and to him that was the same things that the slave holders used to say. In a speech Frederick Douglass gave a speech about the Fourth of July and what it meant to him. He stated that to the white man it represented freedom and independence. Frederick says that to the black man however, it is mockery nd mean. 21. “Pardon me…what have I…to do with your national independence? ” (147). Frederick felt as if he and other blacks were excluded from the meaning of the Fourth of July because they were denied freedom for so long. Fredericks journey from his troubled childhood as a slave, to failed attempts at slavery, to his freedom, is a remarkable journey worth being told, and worth being learned.