The Douglass’s Narrative reveals very many things about the lives of the American slaves. The lives of the slaves were very hard. They were treated unfairly treated. American slave women were used for giving birth and having kids against their will. As soon as the slave child was born, they would sell the slave child.
When Frederick’s old master, Captain Anthony, died all of his property was split among his son and daughter. “After the valuation, then came the division. I have no language to express the high excitement and deep anxiety which were felt among us poor slaves during this time. . . A single word from the white men was enough-against all our wishes, prayers, and entreaties-to sunder forever the dearest friends, dearest kindred, and strongest ties known to human beings” (Douglass, 59). By splitting up families and friends, the slaveholders were making sure that the slaves didn’t have any family nor friends to create a bond with.
He was born to a woman slave and a white man. He was raised primarily by his relatives and only occasionally met his mother, who died when he was a young boy. He never met his father, but knew only that he was a white man. During this time, he witnessed the first-hand horrors and mistreatment of slaves and spent many days hungry and cold. Shortly after the death of his mother, Douglass was sent to live with a man in Baltimore and his life became relatively normal for several years.
In the 1800s, for a slave to know how to read and write was not only unheard of, but illegal. Frederick Douglass was born a slave in rural Talbot County, Maryland. For about seven years, he received reading lessons from his mistress Hugh, but that all changed as soon as she commenced her duties as a slaveholder. The once kind hearted woman was changed into a woman to be feared. She stopped teaching Douglass how to read and would monitor his whereabouts in her home to ensure that he was not reading anything.
With the start of the Industrial Revolution taking shape in America, a plethora of inventors began to contribute, whether they knew how impactful it would be or not. Massachusetts born Eli Whitney was one such inventor. Eli Whitney was a young student who, after graduated from Yale College in 1793, took a ship to Savannah, Georgia in which he was to take up a tutoring position on a South Carolina plantation. He was to become a private tutor while he concurrently prepared to enter law. While on his journey to Georgia Eli met the widow of General Nathanel Greene, Katherine Greene, in which she invited Eli to visit Mulberry Grove, where she believed that he could be of use in aiding local planters with farming issues. These planters had been
Thus, despite the fact that Mr. Hugh did not allow him to access education, he continued to study by himself with the assistance of other local boys in the neighborhood. Douglass, consequently, was able to use self-education as a great method to fight against the ignorance of his white master. In addition, he taught other slaves in the Sabbath school, explained them the ignorance of their white masters, and told them about the importance of education. These slaves were greatly influenced by Douglass, so although they had to face whipping and beating, they tried to come to school and met Douglass. Since Douglass understood the power of education, he was able to help not only himself but also his fellow slaves to mentally resist the ignorance of their master and find freedom in the mind.
African-American slaves were forbidden to obtain the knowledge of being able to read or write, stemming from the fear of white masters that educated slaves will overpower them. Douglass managed to learn to read by bribing poor and hungry white boys into teaching him in exchange for bits of bread. Douglass illustrates his thirst for literacy through “[The] bread [he] used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give [him] that more valuable bread of knowledge” (pg 23). This reveals how much Douglass valued education and took advantage of all the knowledge he had access to. Today’s youth, especially the ones belonging to a minority
Douglass belong to a well off family. The woman of the house thought him how to read and write some things. Until her husband found out that she was teaching him, then she suddenly stopped and was angry at Douglass, when he was reading. They felt like he would listen to the Irishman when he said “They both advised me to run away to the north; that I should find friends there, and that I should be free.” After losing his only source of teaching he resorted to the lest fortunate white kids for help.
This shows there was conflict between the master and the slaves. The master took away freedom from the people and made them slaves. Although Frederick Douglass at the time was free from the abuse often seen in slavery, he wasn’t free from his mind. He still has flashbacks and things that scared him forever. The quote “The feeding and clothing me well, could not atone for taking my liberty from me.
David Walker acknowledged that slavery had long been practiced in Africa, but he charged white Christian slaveholders with greater crimes against humanity and greater hypocrisy in justifying those crimes than any prior slave system had been guilty of. Twentieth century scholarship has lent much support to the contentions of Walker’s and others in the African American antislavery vanguard that slavery as perpetrated by the European colonizers of Africa and the Americas brought man’s inhumanity to man to a level of technological efficiency unimagined by previous generations.
This shows that the way a Master behaves around a slave can be very influential, and Douglass explains that he was compelled to give all his hard-earned money to Master Hugh because the influence the Master had on him was to give him everything he worked hard for. Next, on page 10 of his Narrative, Douglass proclaims, “They never knew when they were safe from punishment. They were frequently whipped when least deserving, and escaped whipping when most deserving it. Every thing depended upon the looks of the horses,