Frederick Douglass was a slave born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, in Talbot county, Maryland.He didn’t know his exact birth date,just like most slaves, but estimates that he is in between twenty-seven and twenty-eight years of age.In his reading he talks about how he himself escaped slavery and made made himself a man by overpowering one of his masters and how masters reduc humans to slaves.
Douglass doesn’t know who his Father was although people would say that his father was his master but he wasn’t completely sure of it. He knew his mother was Harriet Bailey,even though they were seperated when he was just a child because most women are hired to some farm far distant while the child is left with older woman of age because they are no longer able to do field labor.Even though he knew who his mother was he had only seen her four or five times in his life and this would only happen at night because his mothers master live about twelve miles away from him and she would have to walk to and back because she had to be at the field before sunrise to not be punished.She then past away when he believed he was seven years old at one of his masters farms and was not able to be with her when she was ill nor at her burial.He felt as is she was a stranger to him because he knew so little of her and all because masters would separate them.
Douglass writes of the differences between a free man and being a dehumanizing slave.In chapter 10, Douglass begins to say how Mr.Covey would whip him and treat him badly.It was his first time working as a field hand so he wasn’t use to any of it and Curvey to this as an advantage to whip him as much as he could.He then searched for help and protection from his master,which he was no help because he made Douglass return to Curvey.Douglass then realized that he had no chance of becoming free and would be killed by Covey before he knew it.Coveys house was located near banks of the Chesapeake Bay where large ship would pass by.These ships were important to Douglass because he believed they symbolized freedom to him,this is what kept him from killing himself at the time.
On a Monday morning,Covey tries to tie his legs and at this moment Douglass can no longer take it and fights back.Douglass grabs him by the throat and tells him that he will not be treated as an animal again,Covey so scared calls for two slaves to help him,which was useless because Douglass to them down,.They fought for hours until they finally stopped and even though Covey said he wipped Douglass he never touched him again.This is when Douglass felt stronger than ever and felt like a man,he felt as if he is powerful enough to escape for freedom.
After his year with Covey is over he is then rented to Freeland which was the opposite of Covey’s treatment.Douglass then starts his plan to escape with three other slaves that he was very close to even though someone eventually betrays them and tells Freeland about their plans and Douglass eventually ends up in jail because of it.
He is then taken to Baltimore to learn the trade of ship caulking where he moves because of the white slaves fear of black slaves taking over. He quickly learns the labor and then starts to make the highest wage possible even though it is all handed over to Hugh.He then got permission to hire out his extra time and this is when he starts to save money little by little.He then makes his his escaped to New York Successfully,he doesn’t give much detail about how he escaped and got away because he doesn’t want other slaves that are trying to escaped for freedom like him get caught.
This is a new chapter for him where he changes his name and marries a free slave he met in Baltimore named Anna Murray.After moving to Massachusetts together,Douglass being free want others to do what he did to be free.He became a great abolitionist himself to help abolish slavery once and for all.
Overall,Douglass believed that masters believed that all black slaves were meant to work for all of their lives and they kept the slaves from identifying themselves from their birthdates to getting taken away from their mother and not knowing who their father was,and not knowing how old they are and where they really come from.
Douglass wanted to kill himself because he didn’t have anymore hope in becoming free nor a man that could stand up for himself.Not until he learned that in order for him to succeed he had to stand up to his Master to let them know that he will not tolerate his mistreatment and that he is capable of defending himself from them.He had conquered something no slave had ever done which was standing up to their master.
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