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Frederick Douglass

            Fredrick Douglas was born some were between 1817 and 1818. Back then they did not keep track of slave birthdays so most slave did not know their exact birth date. Fredrick parents were a black slave named Harriet Baily and a white man who he never knew. Harriet died when Fredrick was little so Fredrick only has a vague remembrance of her. His grandmother Betsy first raised him. He then moved to Colonel Edward Lloyd plantation when he was about six. He would soon learn the harsh reality of slavery. Aaron Anthony was the master of this farm and was very cruel to his slaves. The children would eat out of a trough like pigs. They were provided with very little clothing and no bed or blankets. Here, Fredrick witnessed his first time seeing a slave whipped. It was his aunt. She had her bare back exposed and saw Anthony whip her repeatedly until she was covered on blood.
             Fredrick was late chosen to live with the Auld's in Baltimore. Here he received his first pair of pants. Fredrick's first duties was to run errands and take care of their youngest son Tommy. This was enjoyable to Fredrick and was much easier then plantation work. Sophia Auld was a religious woman and would read her bible aloud in the house. Fredrick asked Sophia if she would teach him to read and with out thought she agreed to it. She first began teaching him his ABC's and then a few small words. She was proud of him and told her husband, Hugh, what she had done. Hugh Auld became furious at this because it was unlawful to teach a slave to read. Hugh Auld believed that if a slave knew how to read and write that it would make him unfit for a slave. A slave that could read and write would no longer obey his master without question or thought, or even worse could forge papers that said he was free and thus escape to a northern state where slavery was outlawed. Hugh Auld then instructed Sophia to stop the lessons at once! Frederick learned from Hugh outburst that if learning how to read and write was his pathway to freedom, then gaining this knowledge was to become his goal.

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