13 July 2016

Frederick was born in Talbot county of Maryland when slavery wasrampant in America1.Frederick experienced the degrading and inhumanity of slavery throughinteraction with his many slave masters and various overseers.Frederick’s first master was named Anthony who owned about threefarms and around thirty slaves2.Captain Anthony, as he was called, was not very rich. Anthony’sfarms were managed by an overseer named Plummer. The overseer wasvery cruel, monstrous and a drunkard. Every time he carried a cowskin and a cudgel to whip any slave who deviated from the set rulesand regulations.

Plummer was a real definition of cruel overseer. He would slash andcut any woman’s head without remorse3. Even hismaster was always enraged by his cruelty. Anthony too was not a goodslaveholder. He only intervened when the overseer became too cruel,otherwise he did not care. He was a cruel man too and sometimesenjoyed whipping slaves. The master used to whip Frederick’s aunt,Hester, tied on her post every morning till blood covered all herback. The louder she cried and shrieked, the harder and fasterAnthony enjoyed whipping her. Frederick was raised by his grandmotherfrom a tender age after being separated from her mother who was soldto work in another farm3.

The living conditions were deplorable. Slaves received meager monthlyallowances of food which were not enough for themselves. One cornbushel and 8 pounds of meat (pork or fish) were all that wasprovided4.Yearly clothes given to slaves were unimaginable. Imagine a pair oftrousers, a coat, a pair of stockings, a pair of shoes and two shirtsfor the whole year.

Children were never given any clothing because they couldn’t workin the farm and most of the time they remained nude irrespective ofthe weather conditions. Even during winter many children remainednaked and were only tended by old women who were unable to work inthe farms. The living conditions were deplorable. Slaves were neverallowed to own any beds5.They were only provided with coarse blankets which they usuallyshared with their children. There was no comfort for the marriedcouples to express their love and intimacy. They were usually tootired from the daily activities.

Frederick’s other master was Colonel Edward Lloyd’s. The overseerwas called Mr. Severe. He was usually described as the, “overseerof the overseers”6.Colonel Lloyd’s plantation was on the North of Easton in the sameTalbot County. His farms were full of tobacco, wheat and corn. Lloydkept as many as 300-400 slaves in his home farm with many more slavesin the neighboring firms that he owned. The home farm was the centralmanagement point where all other 120 farms were managed. Anydisagreements between overseers and slaves were settled in the homeplantation. Any slaves who were caught escaping or committing anymisdemeanor were whipped mercilessly by the overseers and immediatelysold to other slaveholders at Baltimore. This was in part apunishment as well as a warning to the other slaves.

The farm overseer Mr. Severe was very cruel and inhuman. He was ahorrid and cruel. He took pleasure in whipping slaves both men andwomen7.He spent the whole day in the firm cursing, cutting, whipping orslashing slaves. He died as soon as Frederick went to the farm andmany slaves regarded his death as a “merciful providence.” He wasreplaced by Mr. Hopkins who was totally opposite of Mr. severe. Mr.Hopkins was friendlier, less noisy and swore less often. His tenurewas characterized with normal punishments to slaves with noextraordinary features8. He only whipped considerably depending on the mistakes and took nopleasure in doing so. He was regarded as a good overseer by theslaves in the plantation.

The rural slaves were totally different from the urban slaves9.The plantation slaves did all the manual and hard work and had littleprivileges as compared to their counterparts. The few privilegesplantations slaves had were being employed as errand boys especiallyin the Great House Farm as they used to call Lloyd’s ruralplantation. Rural masters were cruel and inhuman and always whippedtheir slaves. Rural slaves lived in deplorable shanties with meagerallowances.

City slaves were like free people and enjoyed many privileges. Urbanslaves performed less hard labor as they were usually working inshipyards, warehouses or cotton presses. Many of them performedapprentice work for the tailors, masons and saddle markers. Many ofthem also worked in building industries. They also enjoyed betteraccommodation as they were housed in the same houses as their owners.If they were too many, extra houses would be constructed beside theirmaster’s house for the slaves. They enjoyed better food andclothing allowances. Urban masters were more compassionate than theirrural counterparts.

Frederick’s education started after the death of his first masterAnthony. After his death Frederick was sent to Lucretia Auld.Lucretia passed him to his husband’s brother, Hugh Auld. Hugh’swife taught him the alphabets when he was around twelve10. Hugh disapproved of such tuition since he feared an uprising ifslaves got a chance to study. Frederick continued his learningthrough the master’s white children and self-learning too. Hebelieved that learning was a gateway to freedom11.He read newspapers, political pamphlets and other books and gainedinsight on slaver12.When he was later sold to William Freeland he began teaching otherslaves how to read the bible at the weekly church event. Many slaveslearned how to read and raised their nationalistic views on thedesire for freedom.

Bibliography List

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, anAmerican slave. Random House Digital, Inc., 2000.

Horton, James Oliver, and Lois E. Horton. Slavery and the Making ofAmerica. Oxford University Press, USA, 2006.

Douglass, Frederick, and George L. Ruffin. Life and Times ofFrederick Douglass: His Early Life as a Slave, His Escape fromBondage, and His Complete History to the Present Time. DigitalScanning Inc, 2001.

1 Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Random House Digital, Inc., 2000

2Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Random House Digital, Inc., 2000

3Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Random House Digital, Inc., 2000

4Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Random House Digital, Inc., 2000

5Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Random House Digital, Inc., 2000

6Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Random House Digital, Inc., 2000

7Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Random House Digital, Inc., 2000

8Horton, James Oliver, and Lois E. Horton. Slavery and the Making of America. Oxford University Press, USA, 2006

9Horton, James Oliver, and Lois E. Horton. Slavery and the Making of America. Oxford University Press, USA, 2006

10Douglass, Frederick, and George L. Ruffin. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: His Early Life as a Slave, His Escape from Bondage, and His Complete History to the Present Time. Digital Scanning Inc, 2001

11Douglass, Frederick, and George L. Ruffin. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: His Early Life as a Slave, His Escape from Bondage, and His Complete History to the Present Time. Digital Scanning Inc, 2001

12Douglass, Frederick, and George L. Ruffin. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: His Early Life as a Slave, His Escape from Bondage, and His Complete History to the Present Time. Digital Scanning Inc, 2001