Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglas biography study Essay (Critical Writing)
According to Frederick Douglas, slaves did not get a chance to know much about own mothers and their birthdays, such unawareness considerably influenced their mental well being – they could not be fully alive and were a kind of property of their masters. Frederick Douglas compared slaves to horses, who neither knew their age (Douglas, 25).
In fact, slavery was one of the most horrible tools, which served to destroy people’s identity, ethnicity, and humanity. Slaves were treated as animals and working tools, this is why their diminished humanity meant nothing for their masters, and slaves themselves even forgot about such a significant issue as human rights.
However, many slaves were happy to work at the Great House Farm, as it was considered to be a privilege. Slaves’ songs were some kind of evidence that slaves were happy to live and work, however, Douglas found such songs as slaves’ greatest anguish.
But still, songs were the only ones opportunities, which helped to develop slaves’ language and skills to communicate properly. It was known that many southern slaveholders preferred to keep their slaves illiterate, because they believed that if the latter could not write, they could not share their troubles with the others, describe how poor the conditions to work were, and how cruel their owners were.
According to Douglas, education and slavery were two incompatible things. Slaves did want to become educative, however, their holders deprived them from such opportunities in order to be sure that slaves did not get a chance to tell about their owners’ treatment and punishment.
In spite of the fact that many slaves were uneducated, they still could distinguish the profit from the work, be able to choose better working conditions, and even argue between themselves whose owners is the richest. To prove such assumption, Mr. Douglas used such a phrase, full of irony and sarcasm: “To be a poor man’s slave was deemed a disgrace” (Douglas, 40).
By means of numerous quotations, Douglas also wanted to underline how terrible the treatment of slaveholders was. “It was worth a halfcent to kill a ‘nigger,’ and a half-cent to bury one” (Douglas, 45) is one of such quote that proves that slave’s life did not mean anything for the owners. Slaves’ deaths were not about pity or some emotions. It was all about more money and owners’ costs, which had to be spent to bury a person.
Colonel Lloyd was the brightest example of wealth and terrible owners; he had so many slaves that “he did not know them when he saw them” (Douglas, 39). He demanded too much subservience from all his slaves and very often, his punishment was too cruel. Such wealth corrupted owners’ self of justice, because owners kept slaves ignorant and gained the necessary power, and all the play was not fair, because slaves could not resist such treatment and did obey.
Austin Gore was a proud and cruel slaveholder, whose maxim was “it is better that a dozen slaves should suffer under the lash, than that the overseer should be convicted, in the presence of the slaves, of having been at fault” (Douglas, 41). Gore killed poor Demby because the latter did not response to the calls of the former – such punishment is cruel and even inhuman.
Of course, there were people, slave-owners, who demonstrated their understanding and compassion to their slaves. Mr. and Mrs. Auld were slaveholders, where the narrator spent some time. The peculiar feature of these people was that sincere Sophia was eager to help Douglass to become more educative; however, her husband forbade her provide any assistance, because if to “give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell” (Douglas, 52).
However, the slaves of the Aulds were not the only ones, where slaves felt themselves in safe. A city slave had much more privileges in comparison to a country one. He had better clothes, food, and living conditions. City slaveholders did not want to disturb their neighbors with slaves’ cries and suffering, this is why city slave’s life was similar to a free one.
“Death of a master all too often meant that debts had to be paid and that slave families had to be divided or something sold” (Miller and Smith, 447). Mr. Douglas admits that some kind of fear and uncertainty is inherent to a slave after his/her master’s death. Slaves did not care about the death as a loss but considered it as one more factor to be bothered about.
Douglass supported that less religion and piety was something really important. It was not that important to build churches and other places to pray and ask for forgiveness. Slaves had a need of fresh air and observing sunshine in order to be ready to work better.
Frederick Douglas was a religion man, because during his work, he always admitted that his religious experience played a significant role in his education.
Due to religion, Douglas got a chance to control own emotions and choose the best way to improve his life of a slave. He considered religion as something that helped to look beyond and be ready for further challenges: “O God, save me! God, deliver me! Let me be free! Is there any God? Why am I a slave?” (Douglas, 77).
Due to such unbelievable devotion to religion, Mr. Douglas created a wonderful speech in favor of July, 4th. This speech is considered to be the brightest words in regards to civil rights, slave freedom, and a kind of reborn of slaves and their families.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas. BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2008.
Miller, Randal, M. and Smith, John, D. Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997.
Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass – An American Slave Report
Douglass’s book, Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass- An American Slave, provides the best evidence about American slavery. In the book, Douglass gives vivid evidence that he was once a slave; a fact that was doubted by many critics due to his oration skills and impeccable language (Douglass 11).He also gives solid evidence of the inhumanity that was characteristic of this institution.
Douglss begins the book by giving a detailed description of his childhood life and the effects that slavery had on him as a child. He then goes on to give a detailed description of the brutality that was perpetrated against American slaves during his time as a slave. The book is filled with names, scenes and events which evidence its truthfulness. This paper is a description of the brutality that Douglas witnessed as a slave (Douglass 4).
Aspects of American slavery
American slavery was characterized with many acts of inhumanity. Slaves were denied their rights to literacy, severely beaten, overworked in farms, provided with poor living conditions, abused sexually, separated from their families, killed, tortured psychologically and emotionally, dehumanized, etc. Let us have a look at the evidence of these acts of inhumanity portrayed in Douglass’s book.
The most portrayed act of inhumanity is the frequent beatings that were perpetrated on slaves. After Aunt Hester had gone out, she was severely beaten and caused to bleed profusely. All this was done because she was not there when the master “desired her presence” (Douglass 14).
This is an act of inhumanity because it appears that the slaves were “tethered” like livestock and were not free to attend their needs. Before the beating, she was stripped from her neck to the waist and then whipped severely. This can be seen as an indication that her master, Captain Anthony, was abusing her sexually. This claim is substantiated by the fact that Aunt Hester had gone out to see a male neighbor named Ned Roberts.
Captain Anthony was calling her a “b – – – – -b b – – – -h” (Douglass 14) as he whipped her. Captain Anthony got his name, presumably, from having sailed at Chesapeake Bay. Another evidence of beatings perpetrated on slaves is seen when Douglass is taken to the custody of Mr. Covey. He says that he was whipped every week until one day he collapsed while working in the farm. However, one day as Covey wanted to tie him for his weekly routine, Douglass protested and put up a fight. They fought for two hours until Douglass won the fight.
This can be seen as one of the things that encouraged Douglass to relentlessly fight against the institution of slavery. It is also the beginning of Douglass’s confidence in his manhood. This is because after the fight, he was never beaten again. Douglass also explains how his mother received frequent whippings for not being in the farm at sunrise since she travelled at night to see him (Douglass 12).
If a slave committed major misdemeanors, tried to escape or opposed the authority of the overseers in the farms, he/she was exposed to severe beatings before being sold. There is also a woman who was whipped in the presence of her children, who were crying begging the overseer to stop whipping their mother. The woman is said to have been whipped by Mr. Severe in front of her children until her blood ran for almost thirty minutes (Douglas 17).
Psychological and emotional torture
There is substantial evidence of psychological and emotional torture perpetrated on slaves by their masters. First of all, the separating of infants from their mothers before they were one year old amounts to emotional torture on both the mothers and their children. Douglass explains how his mother walked a distance of about twelve miles night after night to see him. This was after she was separated from him during his infancy (Douglass 12).
When his mother was sick and during her death, Douglass was not allowed to go and see her. Even when she died, he was not allowed to attend her burial. He says that his separation from his mother made him have no emotions for her such that her death hit him like the death of a stranger (Douglass 12). This is emotional torture perpetrated on Douglass. There is also the stated incidence in which a woman was whipped in front of her children (Douglass 17). This is emotional torture on the children.
An example of how slave-holders psychologically tortured their slaves is seen when Colonel Lloyd meets one of his slaves who speaks ill of him. After the incident, Colonel Lloyd postpones the punishment for this act until two weeks later. The delay of punishment can be seen as psychological torture on the slave (Douglass 34).
Although Douglass does not give much evidence about sexual abuse, the reader is left to make his/her conclusions about this issue. First of all, Douglass’s father is said to be an unknown white man who is suspected to be his master. The fact that his father is unknown is a clear indication that his mother was sexually abused during his conception.
This is also evidenced by the fact that his master was the chief suspect. Since masters were never good to their slaves. It is apparent that Douglass’s mother was forced into having sex with the man who bore Douglass. Another evidence of sexual abuse perpetrated on slaves is seen when Aunt Hester is whipped. There was also the rule that children who were born by black women belonging to white fathers were to be regarded as slaves (Douglass 13).
This is enough evidence that the whites (masters) were sexually abusing slaves since for them to develop such a rule, there must have been several cases of children born by white men and black women. The rule is an indication that they had, kind of, legalized this behavior. It was also an evidence of the inhumanity that the masters had if they could send their own children to experience the woes of slavery.
Poor living conditions
The slaves were provided with very poor living conditions. After a very busy day with whippings, slaves had limited time for household chores and thus they lacked enough time to sleep. They all slept on cold floors covered with very poor blankets. Slaves were provided with clothes annually. This meant that when a slave missed clothes, he/she could stay with tatters for two years.
The clothes provided include two linen shirts, two linen trousers, one jacket, and another trouser for winter, a pair of shoes and stockings. Food was given on a monthly basis. Children of both sexes between the ages seven years and ten years were always naked. These were the characteristics of the “Great House Farm” (Douglass 17) which was the prestigious “workplace” of the slaves (Douglass 17). One wonders what the conditions of other lesser farms were.
There are many cases of dehumanization in Douglass’s book. First of all, the slaves were overworked in the field and they received severe beatings while working. The effect of this can be seen when Douglass was taken to Mr. Covey. He was overworked and whipped routinely until he lost consciousness while carrying out his duties in the field. Another evidence of dehumanization of slaves is seen when Douglass’s master dies. His death is followed by the inheritance of slaves along with livestock and other property (Douglass 16).
Other acts of inhumanity
Other acts of inhumanity in the book include the jailing of Douglass and his friends after an attempted escape. Additionally, while Douglass was working as a Caulker in Baltimore, all his wages were given to his master, Auld. The slaves were also denied their rights to literacy.
However, Douglass beat the system and found his ways of attaining literacy. His literacy contributed greatly to his fight against slavery (Douglass 15). There is evidence that some slaves were killed for no apparent reason. This is evidenced in the description of the character of one of the overseers of Douglass’s master named Mr. Plummer. He is said to have been beheading women slaves (Douglass 13).
Many people doubted that Douglass was a slave due to his language skills but his book gave the proof that he was actually a slave. His description of the events and the environments of American slavery is filled with a lot of evidence of truthfulness inform of names.
Among the names of places that are repeatedly mentioned in this book are the “Great House Farm” (Douglass 17), the Chesapeake Bay, the Baltimore, etc. On the other hand, events that are highlighted in this book are all meant to show the suffering of the slaves. These events include the singing of the slaves, who worked in the “Great House Farm” (Douglass 17) and events during which slaves were tortured or mistreated.
The latter include the whipping of Aunt Hester, the whipping of a woman in front of her kids, the collapsing of Douglass while working on the field and his subsequent fight with Mr. Covey, the whipping of Douglass’s mother in the morning after failing to make it to the farm by sunrise etc (Douglass 12-17). All these events are meant to show the brutality that was perpetrated against American slaves.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass-An American Slave. U.S: Yale University, 2001. Print.
Religion Role in Douglass Narrative Story Expository Essay
Frederick Douglass was a slave in America where there were a lot of inequalities between the slaveholders and the slaves. Slaves were mistreated in terms of being whipped, not given enough to eat, poor resting conditions as their bed was just the floor; generally slaves hardly received the basic needs from their masters.
Both parties happened to believe and claim to practice the same religion- Christianity. One fails to understand why the inequalities and yet they both practiced the same faith. Religion therefore as presented in Douglass narrative story serves two roles; basically the symbolic functions and the narrative functions. This discussion therefore is inclusive of role played by religion in depth as the Christianity of the white south contrast to that of the black slave.
To start with, religion has been used to justify the suffering of the black slaves. The religious slaveholders oppressed the slaves as they argued that God admitted for the slave existence when He cursed Ham. This is found in the Christian teachings as they used the bible as their guide.
According to the scripture in the book of Genesis chapter 9 verses 24, Ham was cursed by the father Noah after he had seen the nakedness of his father and failed to cover him but instead told it to his brothers. Ham was then cursed into the bondage of slavery thus the whites believed that they were right in the practice of slavery (Douglass 11).
According to the Christian teachings, God gave the masters power to discipline their servants if they failed to do as they were commanded. This is well illustrated when a crippled woman received a severe whip when she failed to do as she was commanded by her master. In these two instances and many others, the teachings from the bible were used to the exercise of more cruel acts.
Douglass however does not blame the religiosity which is on the Christian teachings in the slavery acts which they faced, but he instead gives thanks to God with the full knowledge that the religion where he practiced Christianity was based on good morals (Douglass 32). Douglass and other slaves practice of Christianity contrasts with the Christianity that is practiced by the slaveholders.
The Christianity practiced by the black slaves is represented as the Christianity that is inexistence of purity, complete in peace in it, and also it serves as the full representation of the nature of Christ Himself and thus carrying out the activities in unity. Unity was present when Douglass held on the good spirit of letting his fellow slaves learn how to read and even offering his time to teach them.
Slaves’ Christianity does not support any corrupt deals, oppression through the act of slave holding or cruelty but instead, slaves continually believe and pray to God for their redemption. It is also against women whipping and any other form of whipping as they present a pure Christianity. Christianity is therefore a saving grace to slaves (Douglass 18).
On the other hand, Christianity represented by the slaveholders who were the whites from the south, is a hypocritical kind of Christianity. They offer prayers to God, hold Christians activities like preaching and keeping the Sabbath. They at the same time honor the Christmas period where Christians cerebrates the birth of their Lord Jesus Christ and the New Year as a sigh of appreciating God for His mercies to have them see the New Year.
One would automatically think that out of these Christian practices, they would at least show some good spirit in their deeds but instead they continue to oppress slaves. They even fail to give them enough food where they themselves have plenty to eat. According to Christian teachings, every person should actually love his or her neighbor and treat her of him in the best way possible. This is however not the case with the whites south.
The white slave holders have all through misused the Christianity institution as they take it for their advantages in gaining their selfish gains. One fails to understand why they do misrepresent Christianity. For instance, they used to give the slaves holidays during the Christmas and the New Year period.
One might assume that they did it out of good spirit so that slaves could have at least some time to rest. In fact this is however not right as the slave holders in their canning ways, planned on how slaves could get more drunk during this period where Christianity do not advocate drunkenness. They did this through betting with the slaves so as they could compete on who was able to drink a lot of whisky and still remain in soberness for a longer period. All what they enjoyed in, was to see slaves misuse what they had saved.
Douglass has spent much of his writing illustrating much on the main religion which is Christianity. He does this to show how much slavery and Christianity at any time can not be said to be compatible.
Christianity cannot be inexistence wherever slavery is present as slavery is an act that promotes inequalities in the human being treatment and lack of humanity. Religiosity portrayed in Christianity advocate for love and thus wherever slavery is practiced, this virtue is absent. The fact is Christianity religion is highly affected by the presence of slavery.
There is therefore a direct opposite kinds of life as what is illustrated in the Douglass writing that are lived by the both parties: slaves and their masters in terms of social life and the practical part of it, thus bringing out some differences in their spiritual lives. He therefore uses the juxtaposition of Christianity in the emphasis that there can still be a true Christianity rather than the representation of the hypocritical one (Douglass 18).
In conclusion, it is clearly evidenced that religion which is presented in the form of Christianity plays a very significant role in the entire Douglass story. It is illustrated as a means of serving individual’s need, monetary aspects, and political values just for a group portion and not to the liberty of all.
All these facts do not demoralize Douglass and his colleagues who were slaves in the belief concerning Christianity. In fact, they considered searching the will and the knowledge of God through reading instead of performing other acts like drinking of whisky which would on the other hand displease God.
They wanted just to be different rather than the act of calling themselves Christians and yet they do against God’s will. Christianity religion is therefore presented by the slaveholders as their reverence when defending their cruel acts where as to the slaves; it is the only source of consolation especially unto their souls. In difficult times, they believed God for His mercies and deliverance.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. New York: Prestwick House Inc, 2005.
Frederick Douglass’ Three Leadership Personality Traits Report (Assessment)
Leaders have some outstanding characteristics and attributes that can be seen in their actions, decisions and the influence they have on their followers. Frederick Douglass (February 1818– February 20, was an American orator, writer, social reformer, and political leader, who portrayed strong leadership characters and attributes; with his leadership, he was able to fight against slavery in the United States.
The main character traits that can be observed in Frederick are self-confidence, emotional stability and selflessness; this paper discusses three leadership personality traits portrayed by the leader.
Fredrick was a slave himself in America but managed to escape from a slavery camp via boarding a train to Havre de Grace, Maryland ; this was after three attempts to escape, after the successful one, his leadership traits started to become more open to the public domains. His efforts to deliver the slaves from the oppressions they were facing from their masters portray a person with self confidence and believe in himself.
As a leader, he formed the abolitionist movement and started writing materials that counterattacked advocators of slave trade and slavery. From this first move, his character to question and demand for his followers’ rights is seen; he stood strong against those people who were of the view that slaves had no intellectual capacity to function. When presenting his augments using human rights meetings and his antislavery writings, he used his eloquence to defend the rights of slaves.
During the time, slave trade was seen as legitimate and any slave who dared to rebel or argue against the trade was seen as an enemy of the states; however using his self-confidences, charisma and boldness, he stood against the allegations to fight for the rights of staffs.
The leader’s self-confidence was seen in his strong believe that blacks, Native Americans, Female and the Asians have equality; this was in the times that the Americans have special rights and they could override other people. When he was addressing people either slaves or the Northerners, he was never being arrogant but ensured that he drove the point that he wanted; he was described by the many as a man of humility (McFeely 31-78). The leader did not discriminate on either race, but he was advocating for equality and respect for humanity.
In his first book called, “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave”, its one of the interesting materials in history where he describes how he attempted to escape in vain; it portrayed a leader who was driven by self confidence and the need to try again and again.
The success that Fredrick got was based on these strategic and timely decisions that he had to make at different times; when making decisions, he was making decisions that were sound and applicable in the environment that he is operating in at a certain period. When presenting his decisions, it portrayed a person of high moral standing and one who clearly understood the decision that he wanted to make at a particular time.
The book was so humorous that he feared that he would be enslaved again for the weaknesses that he portrayed in the American lifestyle and how he was able to trick them with the attire he wore when he was boarding a train to escape.
In the most remarkable speech that he gave on July 4, 1852 in an American national independence day, the leader stood composed and using selected words that portrayed high intelligence and high degree of quality decisions as well stability, he condemned the lords for using the system to oppress slaves. He was confident enough to address in a like “negative” speech or a speech that differed from what had been expected by the inviters (political leaders).
When he was presenting a speech he was able to move the crowds and able to command respect and follower ship; he could talk of a serious thing with much humor and emotional intelligence that even the people that the speech was targeted to attacking feel appreciated (Gates 23-67).
When Fredrick was escaping from his masters, he was using plans that involved getting people’s confidence to running away: he lived in New Bedford, Massachusetts and in New York of which all were new places that he needed to adopt and develop friends who would stand by his side when he stood against oppression that was evident in the economy.
To be a leader that he was, he needed large support from the people that he represented or whom he fought for their rights; with this he ought to be a person who was sociable and had good people skills; the success of Fredrick can be interpolated in that line. The drive that kept him moving was in his selflessness and desire to serve others.
To get his education that seemed then to be limited to African-Americans more so if one was a slave, he was driven by his enthusiasm to learn to read and inform himself on the oppressions they were going through as well as how he would liberate his people.
The leader made sure that he attended Abolitionists’ meeting and subscribed to William Lloyd Garrison’s weekly journal, the Liberator, this was a show of determination, and hunger for knowledge, self-improvement and working for the good of the general population. His selflessness can be seen in his books and speeches where he talked of matters and issues that were endangering his life but did the same for the good of the people. He was willing and ready to lose his life for the liberty and freedom of the majority (Warkeoczeski 12-89).
Gates, Henry. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. New York: Forgotten Books, 1999.Print.
McFeely, Williams. Frederick Douglass. New York: Norton, 1998.Print.
Warkeoczeski, Hornsby. New roles for leaders: A step-by-step guide to competitive advantage. Franklin: Hillsboro Press,2000.
The Frederick Douglass Historic Site Essay
Frederick Douglass was born a slave and spent his life fighting for the abolition of slavery and attainment of equal rights for African Americans. His quest for justice and equality for all people made him famous. He is a historic person and his struggle to have slavery abolished continues to inspire many people today. This paper examines the Frederick Douglass Historic Site located in 1411 W Street SE, Washington, DC. The home of Frederick Douglass is located in this site. The relevance and historical significance of this site is discussed.
The Frederick Douglass Historic Site
It is at this site that the home of Frederick Douglass is preserved. The site is protected by Public Law and is meant to commemorate the life of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass has been described as “a great abolitionist, civil rights advocate, author and statesman” (National Park Service 1).
He was greatly committed to ensuring that there justice in the treatment of all people. During his time, he was described as “the most important negro of the nineteenth century” (Hinds iii). This site helps to celebrate his contribution to the US civilization.
The home preserved in this site was Douglass’s second home. He purchased it in 1877 and made it his official residence up to the time of his passing away in 1895. The house was built by John Van Hook between 1855 and 1859. It had 14 rooms. After purchasing the house, Douglass made some additions to it.
By the time he passed away, he had increased the number of rooms in the house to 21. Among the many changes he made in the house were the conversion of “the original kitchen into a dining room and construction of a new kitchen in the south wing” (National Park Service 1). He converted two rooms which were upstairs on the west wing into three small bedrooms. He also completed the attic creating five more rooms and added a library to the house (National Park Service 1).
A number of restorations have been carried out on Douglass’ home. The first restoration was undertaken by Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association (FDMHA) in 1922 – this was 19 years after the death of Douglass’ second wife. In 1962, the custody of Douglass’ home was transferred to the National Park Service from FDMHA.
The second restoration was carried out by the National Park Service between 1962 and 1972. The house was reopened to the public in 1972. The construction of a visitor center at the site was started in 1980 and completed in 1982. The third and last restoration so far was undertaken between 2004 and 2007 (National Park Service 1).
Taking into consideration the knowledge that Douglass displayed, his library is often treated as a special place. The library is lit by three windows which are large enough to allow enough natural light in. The library is filled with many books on various topics.
There is an iron stove in the library which Douglass used to warm himself up with in the library during the winter seasons. Since it is not possible to closely examine the texts in this library, the National Park Service is making plans to avail a list of all the books Douglass had in the library (National Park Service 1).
Significance of the Frederick Douglass Historic Site
Frederick Douglass is a very significant person in the US history. To best understand the significance of this historic site, one needs to examine the significance of Frederick Douglass.
Frederick Douglass was born a slave in 1818 but escaped from slavery at the age of 20 years (Douglass 9). He dedicated the whole of his life to fight for upholding of human dignity: “first for personal freedom, then for the freedom of his own people, and then for female equality” (National Park Service 1).
For sixteen years, Douglass edited an influential newspaper which changed its name three times. The changes in the name were as follows: “The North Star (1847-1851), Frederick Douglass’ paper (1851-1858), and The Douglass Monthly (1859-1863)” (Blight 1). He used his oratory skills and persuasive writing abilities to advance the course of his antislavery campaign. He was the voice and hope for those who were subjected to slavery and racism.
Douglass used the Civil War to advance the antislavery campaign. During the war, he was described as a “fierce propagandist of the Union cause and emancipation, a recruiter of black troops, and on two occasions as an advisor to President Abraham Lincoln” (Blight 1). It is worth noting that there was a great connection between the Civil War and abolition of slavery.
Douglass seems to have seen this connection early enough and sought to mobilize African Americans troops to fight against the South alongside the North side. He knew that the North side had to take the victory if his antislavery campaign was to bear fruits. Seemingly, he was also aware that by the African Americans joining hands with the whites in the war, they would stand a chance to demand for equal treatment afterwards.
Frederick Douglass was a selfless leader who committed himself to ensuring African Americans acquired freedom from slavery. He wisely used his knowledge, and oratory and persuasive writing skills to fight for his people.
The Frederick Douglass Historic Site therefore is of great significance. It helps visitors to remember a great leader who fought for the right values in the society. The site inspires human right activists to forge ahead with their campaign to uphold human dignity. A lot of inspiration can be drawn from the work written by Frederick Douglass and his life.
Frederick Douglass set the foundation for the liberation of the African Americans from slavery. The historic site therefore has a special connection to the very present freedom of African Americans. The site can also be viewed as a symbol of the supremacy of civilization over barbaric acts such as slavery.
The Frederick Douglass Historic Site preserves the home of Frederick Douglass. This site is a commemoration of the life of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass was a great leader who fearlessly fought for the liberation of slaves. He had great oratory skills and could write persuasively. His fame rose to an international level and his campaign to have slavery abolished was successful. He is remembered as a great African American leader of the nineteenth century who helped slaves to break free from shackles of slavery.
His legacy is celebrated by people of all walks of life. He is especially a significant figure to the African Americans and generally to all the civilized societies. His life can be said to be a living testimony of the power of persistence against evils in the society. This historic site therefore stands tall as a symbol of the victory of good over evil.
Blight, David. Frederick Douglass. Documenting the American South, 2013. Web.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1851. Print.
Hinds, James. Frederick Douglass Home: Cedar Hill. Historic Structures Report Part II, 1968. Web.
National Park Service. Frederick Douglass. National Park Service, 2013. Web.
The Importance of Literacy Essay (Critical Writing)
Literacy is a skill that is never late to acquire because it is essential for education, employment, belonging to the community, and ability to help one’s children. Those people, who cannot read, are deprived of many opportunities for professional or personal growth. Unwillingness to become literate can be partly explained by lack of resources and sometimes shame; yet, these obstacles can and should be overcome.
First, one can say that literacy is crucial for every person who wants to understand the life of a society. It is also essential for ability to critically evaluate the world and other people. In his book, Frederick Douglass describes his experiences of learning to read. Being a slave, he had very few opportunities for education.
Moreover, planters were unwilling to teach their slaves any reading skills because they believed that literacy would lead to free thinking and slaves’ aspirations for freedom (Douglass, 96). Overall, they were quite right in their assumption because literacy gives people access to information, and they understand that they can achieve much more than they have. This can be one of the reasons for learning to read.
Yet, literary is essential for many other areas of life, for example, employment. Statistical data show that low-literate adults remain unemployed for approximately six months of the year (Fisher, 211). This problem becomes particularly serious during the time when economy is in the state of recession. It is particularly difficult for such people to retain their jobs especially when businesses try to cut their expenses on workforce.
One should take into account that modern companies try to adapt new technologies or tools, and the task of a worker is to adjust to these changes. Thus, literacy and language proficiency are important for remaining competitive. Furthermore, many companies try to provide training programs to their employees, but participation in such programs is hardly possible with basic reading skills. Thus, these skills enable a person to take advantage of many opportunities.
Additionally, one has to remember that without literacy skills people cannot help their children who may struggle with their homework assignments. Moreover, ability to read enables a person to be a part of the community in which he or she lives. In his essay The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society, Jonathan Kozol eloquently describes the helplessness of illiterate people.
This helplessness manifests itself in a variety of ways; for example, one can mention inability to read medicine prescriptions, contracts, ballot papers, official documents, and so forth (Kozol, unpaged). While speaking about these people, Jonathan Kozol uses the expression “an uninsured existence” which means that they are unaware of their rights, and others can easily exploit them (Kozol, unpaged). To a great extent, illiterate individuals can just be treated as second-class citizens.
This is a danger that people should be aware of. To be an active member of a community, one has to have access to a variety of informational resources, especially, books, official documents, newspapers, printed announcements, and so forth. For illiterate people, these sources are inaccessible, and as a result, they do not know much about the life of a village, town, city, or even a country in which they live.
In some cases, adults are unwilling to acquire literacy skills, because they believe that it is too late for them to do it. Again, one has to remember that there should always be time for learning, especially learning to read.
Secondly, sometimes people are simply ashamed of acknowledging that they cannot read. In their opinion, such an acknowledgment will result in their stigmatization. Yet, by acting in such a way, they only further marginalize themselves. Sooner or later they will admit that ability to read is important for them, and it is better to do it sooner.
Apart from that, people should remember that there are many education programs throughout the country that are specifically intended for people with low literacy skills (Fisher, 214). Certainly, such programs can and should be improved, but they still remain a chance that illiterate adults should not miss. If these people decide to seek help with this problem, they will be assisted by professional educators who will teach them the reading skills that are considered to be mandatory for an adult person.
Although it may seem a far-fetched argument, participation in such programs can open the way to further education. As it has been said by Frederick Douglass learning can be very absorbing and learning to read is only the first step that a person may take (Douglass, 96). This is another consideration that one should not overlook.
Overall, these examples demonstrate that ability to read can open up many opportunities for adults. Employment, education, and ability to uphold one’s rights are probably the main reasons why people should learn to read. Nonetheless, one should not forget that professional growth and self-development can also be very strong stimuli for acquiring or improving literacy skills. Therefore, people with poor literacy skills should actively seek help in order to have a more fulfilling life.
Douglass, Frederick. “Learning to Read.” Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.
Frederick Douglass. New York: Kessinger Publishing, 2004. Print.
Fisher, Nancy. “Literacy Education and the Workforce: bridging the gap.” Journal of Jewish Communal Service 82. 3 (2007): 210-215. Print.
Kozol, Jonathan. The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society. Vanderbilt Students of Nonviolence, 2008. Web.<https://vandynonviolence.com/>
Frederick Douglass’ Biography and Struggle Essay
Frederick Douglass was born in Tuckahoe Easton in Maryland. He never knew the exact time of his birth because slaves were not allowed to now such things bur from his estimation it could have been in 1818. His mother was a slave named Harriet Bailey. He heard through rumors that his father was a white man.
Douglass never got a chance to confirm those rumors with his mother because she died when he was seven years old. Unfortunately, he had been separated from her at a young age and was brought up and under the care of his grandmother Betsey Bailey. He lived through slavery and grew up to become a champion of civil rights in America. His character was core in enabling him to fight for the rights of slaves and abolition of slavery.
Bright and strong
Douglass was a bright even at an early age. He was able to discern the discrimination going on at an early because he could remember that young white children could tell their age but him and other slave children could not. He sensed the discrimination yet his quest for information about his identity was unwelcomed, “I was not allowed to make any inquires of my master concerning it” (Douglass 923). In addition, he was a strong child because he had to endure being away from his mother at an early age.
Douglass never remembers seeing her during the day and even when they saw each other at night, they did not talk much. The lack of affection from his mother made him to look at her like a stranger when she died. He says, “When I received the tidings of her death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger” (Douglass 924). Thus from his early age he had to learn to depend on his own to survive through the hard years of slavery.
Douglass was a tenacious boy. He was determined to gain knowledge no matter what it took. This trait is demonstrated in Baltimore while under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Auld. Mrs. Auld began to teach him how to read, however the teaching was cut short by Mr. Auld who told him that teaching niggers to read would make them rebellious and they would not remain as slaves.
Douglass overheard this conversation and his eyes were opened about the way of ending slavery- knowledge. He was determined to know how to read at whatever cost because it was this knowledge that would give him freedom.
Mr. Auld’s opposition of Douglass opportunity to read became a great motivation for him to learn how to read because he was convinced that this would be the way out of slavery according to Mr. Auld’s words. He befriended young white boys so that they could teach him to read and he had an advantage because he had already learnt the ABCs from his master’s wife. He carried a book and bread to give to the boys who in turn would give him the knowledge he so desired to acquire (Douglass 939).
His inquisitive nature also helped him to become more determined to escape from slavery someday. In his conversations from the white boys, he had turned into his teachers he talked about being a slave for life. This situation made him very sad because he could not understand why he could not be free, as the white boys “Have not I as good right to be free as you have?”(Douglass 940). The thought of being a slave forever gave him the drive to gain more knowledge.
Moreover, Douglass was not only inquisitive, but also clever. He knew how to get what he wanted and in this case, he wanted to learn how to write. Therefore, he learnt how to write a four-letter word. Later he would challenge every boy who knew how to write to a contest and this way he learnt to write more words. He also coped what his master’s son Thomas had written in his books when he was left to watch the house (Douglass 942).
Patient and resilient
Patience and resilience helped Douglass to bear the suffering that came with slavery. He was sent to Mr. Covey who was called a nigger breaker. He was so cruel and his reputation spread everywhere across the plantations. Douglass endured so much suffering during his first six months working for Mr. Covey and received whippings almost every week (Douglass 950).
Although they had adequate food to eat, they did not have time to eat it because Mr. Covey always wanted them on their feet work regardless of the weather. The slaves had no choice but to obey the tough masters and Douglass bore the suffering because he had a feeling at the end he would come out of the situation. He would not remain in slavery all his life and even if it meant running away “Why am I a slave? I will run away. I will not stand it. Get caught or get clear, I’ll try it” (Douglass 952).
His stubbornness helped Douglass take a stand against Mr. Covey. He was aware of his disadvantaged situation as a slave but instead he chose not to bow to the pressure and fight back. For example, he sought protection from his master after the beatings of Mr. Covey even though he did not get it. In another instance, his stubbornness shone through when he fought with Mr. Covey as he tried to rope him in the stable, “I resolved to fight; and, and suiting my action to the resolution, I seized Covey hard by the throat” (Douglass 955).
After this incident, Douglass was not beaten again. The incident rekindled his desire for freedom and he no longer felt helpless or fear before his masters” My long crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place… the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact” (Douglass 955).
Douglass had courage that helped him to break free from oppression. After he went to work for Mr. Freeland he took it upon himself to educate, his fellow slaves how to read. This was a courageous act because the slaves were not allowed to read to keep their minds ignorant. He was taking a risk at conducting classes with the slaves but he did it anyway because he wanted to help them.
His efforts paid of because “several of those who came to Sabbath school learned how to read and that one at least is now free through my agency” (Douglass 960). Furthermore, he planned to escape from slavery despite of the risks” for my part I should prefer death to hopeless bondage” (Douglass 961).
Luckily, he managed to escape from the south on his second attempt and escaped from the life of bondage although it tore his heart to leave his friends. He loved them so much and after he went to New Bedford, he joined with other abolitionist such as Mr. Johnson in efforts to end slavery. The actions that Douglass took had a lasting impact in bringing freedom to the slaves. He gave fire to the abolitionist movement that championed for the rights of slaves and his name is forever engrained in the American history.
Douglass, Frederick. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Vol. F. Ed. Lawall, Sarah. New York: Norton, 2002.
Why slavery is wrong Essay
Frederick Douglass condemns the act slavery. This is revealed from his arguments and examples he has given that condemn this act.
In his work, Douglass recounts the manner in which slaves were prevented from getting knowledge by their masters in order to keep them ignorant. When Douglass wrote his work, slavery was seen as a normal thing in the society that could not be eliminated. Black people were perceived to be incapable of participating in economic and civil rights activism and thus should be held to work for white people.
Douglass narrates ways through which the whites strategize to keep black people in a state of slavery from birth time and throughout their life time. They do it by not telling them their place of birth and hiding them from their parents. When slave children are growing, they are denied education because they know they would be empowered to live on their own. Slaveholders deny slaves the art of writing and reading so that their story would never be told. According to Douglass, this is an inhuman act.
Despite the fact that slaves are held hostage and deprived of the opportunity to get an education, they should use all means to get knowledge as a means to be liberated. From Douglass story, “he gets to know that the only means to freedom is through education when Hugh Auld warns his wife not to teach slaves because it would ruin them.”
When Douglass heard this story, he got the idea of how whites manage to keep blacks in a state of ignorance so that they cannot come out of their captivity. Douglass sets an example of self education when he learns to read and write using his personal means.
Thereby, freeing himself from slavery and using it to fight for the rights of fellow slaves. According to the book, “Douglass got freedom as a result of self education, but he does not guarantee that education itself gives freedom in itself.” It is a means through which slaves can understand injustice done to them and their colleagues; they get to know that they are equal to their masters in all ways.
In the context of the book, Hugh Auld foresees that this awareness brings suffering and a sense of guilt among slaves. Once slaves are aware of injustices done to them by their masters they live with pain and if they try to escape, their lives will be in danger. This reveals how damaging slavery is to the slaves if they are made aware of their rights.
In his book, Douglass reveals how damaging slavery can be to the slaves themselves and their masters. He wrote that, “The moral health of slaveholders is in question when they assert their authority and power on slaves.” Douglass revolves around this theme and depicts it as unnatural act of humanity.
He describes some characteristics of slave masters in order to reveal the negative impacts of slavery. He writes that, several slaveholders have been tempted to commit adultery, rape and even bore children with slaves. These behavior patterns such as adultery threaten to split families of slave masters.
According to Douglass, some men who bore children are forced to intimidate their own children by selling them or punishing them while their wives become nasty. An example is given of Thomas Auld who develops distorted religious ideologies so that he can forget the sins he has committed. As a result of slave holding, Sophia Auld is transformed from a perfect woman to an evil lady. Hence, Douglass argues that slavery should be abolished for the good of all people.
In his narration, Douglass brings out a characteristic of correct and false Christianity. His distinction is that true Christianity is the “Christianity of Jesus” while false Christianity practiced by slaveholders is the “Christianity of this land.” He continues to say that Christianity practiced by slaveholders does not show their goodness but a sign of hypocrisy to hide their brutality.
In summary, Douglass tries to convince his audience that slavery is wrong as seen from his arguments against slavery, and examples he has given. He has proven that it is wrong to enslave others because it is inhuman and against Christian ideals.
The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass Essay
What role does religion play in Douglass’s account?
The technical definition of religion is belief, feeling and recognition of super power that has the control of human life. According to Frederick Douglass, God has the power to control humanity; he is able to observe what the people are doing. Righteous people need to reason and perform their duties according to the will of God.
In his speech, he challenges the ruling class and wishes that his concerns could be answered with the intervention of God. He portrays that despite the oppression that the slave had undergone, there was superior power that they could lean on to soften the hearts of their lords (Foner).
In the third paragraph of his speech, he laments that he was invited to an occasion of joy but he should be mourning of the oppression the slaves were getting from the American leaders. He recognises that the class differences occurring in the society was God given where different allocations of power wealth and strength. He condemns the oppression the slaves underwent, at the end of the speech he recognised that the deed of the Americans mocked God; they brought shame to holy spirits as they were not human.
According to the speech Douglass was a Christian by religion; he made some quotes from the bible that portrayed oppression in the Jews community and brought the same picture to the situation in America.
According to him, religion was supposed to bring people together and control the way they do things; it should be a form of constitution with a solution to all problems of humanity if well understood and practiced. The teaching of the religion called for no oppression of either group, the haves should not mock the southerner’s slaves but they should be guided by the bible to give them their rights and respect (Foner).
How does he describe the effect of religion upon Southerners, particularly slaveholders?
Douglass felt that the lords made rules and regulation with the need to oppress the Negros, he was of the view that the American Lords had developed the religion of Christianity and enforced it to the Negros buts they did not practice the religion. He was of the opinion that the Americans could do the Negro good not to enforce Christianity practices among the Negros if they were themselves not practising the religion.
The felt that religion was used to justify means that the misfortunes in the life are of the Negros and the Lords were hiding behind the religion as they oppressed the slaves. On the other hand, there is a book called the bible that governs the religion; in case believer does not comply with the requirement of the bible then the God’s power is supposed to punish the individual.
This rule was operated in exemption where the Negros could be made to suffer if they went out of the religion but the Americans Lords could not be punished for violating the rules of religion (Foner).
Comparison of religion
No single definition can capture the full meaning of religion; the technicality of the definition is when we talk of religion everyone who belief in it thinks religion is only what she or he beliefs. The Christian talks of you being religious he will only think of you as a fellow Christian and not a Muslim; in the case of Douglass, Christianity was the religion practiced, it is the religion the American and the slaves abided to however, it was taken for the advantage of one party as the other was oppressed.
Despite that, there are some generally accepted elements that each religion seems to belief in, the same religion can be used to oppress and benefit a certain group in the community at the expense of another. The Americans had enforced Christianity to the Negros so that they can have a soft way of controlling and misusing them.
Each religious belief recognizes the existence of a super national force or power that have control over men and the activities that man do; with this notion in mind, Douglass could have thought that the American could have seen the oppression they are subjecting the Negros to and in the spirit of religion they would have treated them better.
Religion is used to give justification why some people have more Liberty and power in the community. It also is seen to enforce inequality. A common characteristic found among all religion is that they present a complex of feelings and attitudes towards mysteries in life. Thus, religion comprises of systems of attitude, beliefs and symbols, which are based on the assumption that certain kind of social elements are sacred and supreme. There is also a structure of activities governed or influenced by this system (Petton 12-56).
Why or how would there be any differences?
In the case of Douglass, he felt that there was need to respect, practice and keep religion as holy; he felt that the religion has been enforced to slave workers by their lords so that the lords can have an easy controlling point. He felt that the religion was used to enforce inequality and justify the differences that existed among the communities. The haves, Americans had ignored the religion they purported to practice so that they can oppress the Negros.
In normal situations, religion is taken as a social movement and belief that held people together and gave them an identity as they recognised themselves with supreme beings. The belief that there is supernatural power that oversees and controls the functions of human beings should be used to hold people together and solve the differences that they might have. The role of religion as we know is different from the way Douglass had portrayed it to be. He saw it as a making for the benefit of the Americans (Murrin 205).
Why would Douglass describe religion the way he does?
The tone of the speech made by Douglass could tell the pain and oppression that the slaves had. The tone shows the hypocrisy that the Americans had and the way they hide behind religion. He describes religion as evil since he saw it as one of the most effective tools that the American lords used to oppress and exploit Negros.
The pain that the Southerner’s slaves suffered was justified by religion; he saw Christianity to have been moulded to justify the differences and inequality existing in the then American community. In the poem, Douglass, refers to Christianity as the source of hope for the slaves only if the American lords could respect and practice Christianity as they purported to (Foner).
Foner, Philip. The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, Volume II. Pre-Civil War Decade 1850-1860. New York: International Publishers Co., Inc., 1950. Web.
Murrin, John et al. Liberty Equality Power: A History of the American People, Volume I: To 1877. Kentucky: Wadsworth-Thomson Learning, 2005. Print.
Petton, Kimberley .Religion of the Gods, ritual, paradox and reflexivity. New York: Oxford press, 2009.Print.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Essay
Fredrick Douglas was born in Tuckahoe, Hillsborough, about twelve miles from Easton in Talbot county of Maryland to a white father (though not mentioned) and a black mother, Harriet Bailey. He never knew his real age or year of birth, though this was common to most the black slaves’ children in America unlike the white children who were told of their age and date of birth.
After his birth barely a year he was separated from his mother who was taken to a further distance to offer labour to the whites farms a distance of about twelve miles. He reveals that the slave’s children were left at the care of aged women who were unable to provide labour, and that this was meant to break the strong affection of the child and the mother.
Douglas says the only time he was able to be with his mother was during the night. She used to work in Mr. Stewart‘s farm some twelve miles from their home lived and had to walk the distance at night to come and see him. By early the next day, she was expected to be in the farm offering some service in the field, failure of which the penalty was being whipped thoroughly unless one had special permission from the master.
At the age of seven, he received the news about the death of his mother just as one gets the news about the death of a stranger. The loss of his mother was a big blow to him especially on the point that she had not revealed to him his father (Douglass 3).
Despite being born of two distinct worlds, he shares that the child had to bear the wrath of the mother so he was equally a slave, because any black woman who had a child with a white man had to undergo more hardships than any other slave especially if it was with the master.
At his childhood he was under two slave masters; the first one being Anthony who had thirty slaves in number under an overseer called Mr. Plummer “a miserable drunkard, a profane swearer, and a savage monster” (Douglass 15). He was a very cruel man who always went to the farm with a cowskin and a heavy cudgel which he used to whip, cut and slash women’s heads so horribly.
The inhumane nature of Plummer forced the master to intervene and warned him of his cruelty. Douglass tells of an ugly ordeal he experienced for the first time and it was on his aunt called Hester, the mistake being she went out at night and was found in company with Lloyd`s Ned. She was made to strip off her clothes from the neck to the waist level; hands held up and crossed then tied on a hook up leaving her resting on her toes and what followed he could not comprehend until he hid himself in a closet (Douglass 17).
His second service as a slave was at Colonel Lloyd and Captain Thomas Auld`s plantation and these is where he came to the full wrath endured by the slaves, the bloody sinister. Furthermore the annual allowances given to the slaves were unbearable, as for men one coarse linen shirt and trouser and one winter trouser all made of coarse Negro cloth and any one who, missed had to go naked until the next season.
This plantation had different kinds of overseers both the barbaric and the kind hearted ones as we had those who found pleasure in whipping the slaves and even killing them. Douglas was the lucky one as his age did not allow him to work in the fields, but chase the fowls from the farm and other small duties.
A message of good hope came to him concerning his move to Baltimore and indeed it was good news just from the way he is to disguise himself that is to be smart. Even after moving to the place got a warm welcome from his master to be and put in charge of young Thomas Auld whom he was to take care of. It opened his desire to get knowledge and write about the slavery life. His mistress, a kind hearted woman, laid the foundation by starting to teach him the alphabets and later how to spell words of three or four letters.
The master was in great objection of these saying “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master–to do as he is told to do. Learning would ~spoil~ the best nigger in the world. Now” (Douglass 31). These did not deter his efforts to get knowledge which he would use to liberate his fellow slaves but sparked a strong desire to want to learn more.
He discovered that their existed a large rift between the slaves in the city and those that lived in the countryside. Those in cities were less mistreated, given good food and clothing and the work they did was not an overload that’s why he notes that “a city slave is almost a freeman, compared with a slave on the plantation” (Douglass 32).
Most of the masters in the city were after providing the best to their slaves except for one Mr. Thomas Hamilton and his wife who mistreated their two slaves Mary and Henrietta. The two were emaciated and skinny as a result of denial of enough food thus leading to Mary contending with the pigs on the streets for the thrown offal.
Though he was denied access to learning materials in his master’s house, Fredrick planned his own strategy of getting knowledge and that was by befriending many white children on the streets who taught him how to read. Having acquired skills on how to read, he came across a book that inspired him a lot “The Columbian Orator” where he learned of emancipation of slaves after the incidence of a slave who tried to escape thrice but was later emancipated by his master.
It also talked of Catholic Emancipation a speech given by one Sheridan and this was enough knowledge to him as he was able to know of the benefits the slaves had to gain and their human rights.
Although, he had all these within his confines but their was little he could do to save them as he was only twelve years old. He felt like he had poisoned himself with that knowledge that had opened to him his whole but nothing could be done. One word that its clear meaning was not known to him was “abolition”.
After helping some Irishmen to unload their stones from their truck they heed to him the idea to escape and head to the North but the biggest fear was they mighty monopolize from his escape by getting him back and then being paid by his master. So he pretended to have heard nothing from them. These helped him plan his escape effectively and made much effort in knowing how to write which he perfected after a long struggle.
After years of being subjected to torture by his former slave masters, Douglas was at last a free man on the 3rd September 1838. These was the time he arrived in New York although starting life and trying to adapt to it was a hard task as he knew nobody, and the other thing being he feared he might fall prey of kidnappers who were after stranded fugitives. But his happiness was that he was no longer a slave, at a place where everybody was friendly, though he had no place to call home or anybody he knew.
Before he could stay long in that state of disarray in a strange city, came a very kind hearted man called Mr. David Ruggles who took him to his house where also took care of other fugitive slaves. He inquired to know more about him and where he wished to go and when Douglas told him of his desire to go to Canada he objected and advised to go to New Bedford where he could secure some employment to sustain my survival.
There was a religious marriage between Douglas and Ann who was also a slave but free organized by Mr. Ruggles who invited Rev J.W.C. Pennington who presided over the ceremony. They were kindly hospitalized when they arrived in New Bedford; even where they had left their luggage for lack of fare it was settled by the owner of where they were welcomed.
He thought at first that people of the North were extremely poor considering the fact that they owned no slaves that they never enjoyed any luxuries unlike the southern slaveholders, but that was not the case when he stepped in New Bedford, their were so many riches and everybody lived and enjoyed the life.
He lived with one Mr. Johnson, a humble, kind and hardworking man, together with his wife the kind of life he had never lived with the likes of Covey, Hugh and many other slave masters.
It gave him confidence to fight for the liberation of all slaves in the South and to preach for the abolition of slavery. Douglas openly admits that the religion in the South among the masters was indeed a false pretence because they claimed to be devoted Christians and even had church leaders come to their houses often but they never ceased from mistreating their subjects.
He observed that people in the North had strong faith in Christianity that’s why everybody was working thereby not being able to note the difference between the master and the servant. He further brings out how they would pray for God to bless them and fill their stores with more grain yet on the other side they are extra mean starving their slaves, the worst of all being their whipping of the slaves and even slashing their heads and feeling pleasure in doing so yet claim to be religious people.
Douglass, Frederick (1963). Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. New York: Forgotten Books. Print.