Friday, October 25, 2019
Fredrick Douglass :: essays research papers
Summary Frederick Douglass was born in Tuckahoe, Maryland, near Hillsborough. He doesn’t know for sure of his age, he has seen no proof and his master will not inform him.Most masters prefer for their slaves to stay ignorant. He believes that he was aroundtwenty-seven and twenty-eight when he began writing his narrative - he overheard hismaster say he was about seventeen years of age during 1835. His mother, Harriet Bailey,was separated from him when he wasaninfant and she died when he was seven years old.Frederick’s father was awhite man who could have been his master but he never foundout. Education was of utmost importance in his life. He received his first lesson whileliving with Mr. and Mrs. Auld. Sophia Auld, Frederick’s "mistress",was very humane tohim and spent time teaching him the A,B, C’s. After he mastered this, she assisted him inspelling three and fourletter words. At this point in his lesson Mr. Auld encountered whathis wifewas doing for Frederick and forbid her to continue. He believed that "ifyou give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell" and continuing with "learning would spoil the bestnigger in the world". The masters felt that an ignorant slave formed a choice slave andany beneficial learning would damage the slave and therefore be futile to his master. His next step on the road to success was during his seven years living withMaster Hugh’s family. Frederick would make friends with as many white boys as hepossibly could on the street. His new friends would be transformed into teachers. Whenhe could, Frederick carried bread on him as a means of trade to the famished kids forknowledge. He would also carry a book anytime he had an errand to run. The errandwould be completed quickly, allowing extra study time. When Frederick was working inDurgin and Bailey’s ship-yard he would notice timber marked with various letters. Hesoon discovered how the letters matched the type of wood and the names of these letters.Any boy he met that could write he would challenge them to a writing contest. Frederickwould use the letters he recently learned and told the child to challenge that. He thencopied the Italics in Webster’s Spelling Book until he knew them well. All this hard workand years of practice gave Frederick the knowledge to write. After his relocation to Mr. Freeland, who was the owner of two slaves, Frederickdevoted his Sundays teaching these two and other slaves how to read.