Essay about Fredrerick Douglass

Submitted By lloui624
Words: 1244
Pages: 5

Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, was always determined to get more out of life than the slave generation he was born into. Being an obedient slave and being thankful for the “one week holiday” was never enough for Frederick and he knew that he would not die a slave. The separation, from his mother, Frederick endured as a child made it hard for him to have any strong connections on the different plantations he resided on. With his mother dying, when he was the age of seven, Frederick was never able to experience a true relationship with her or his siblings. In some ways these relationships affected him and his attitude of “Trust no man!” (96). Running away to the North was not going to be just a distant dream Frederick would have, but one he conquered. Indeed it’s true, most slaves did not even attempt to run away to freedom, but Frederick was not most slaves. Life as a slave was not one Frederick was willing to except, but the hard decision was when he would change this status to a free man. At approximately age twelve Frederick began to fear the thought of being a slave for life. He was determined to die a free man and his own master. “I was now about twelve years old, and the thought of being a slave for life began to bear heavily upon my heart.” (44) His true beginning of escape began with his Mistress of Master Hugh teaching him his alphabet. This set the tone for him to learn to read and write from the little white boys whom he met along the streets. Frederick would use trickery to get the young boys to write their letters for him to see whose letters were better, thus making it possible for Frederick to practice his writing. Upon learning to read and write Frederick was enraged with his situation, it was as if he was now able to see his condition for what it was, enslaved physically and mentally. He was able to see that he was not seen as a person but as property. Frederick was now able to see that if they continued to control the mind that they could control the person. Keeping the slaves illiterate was just more than a rule but a necessity to keep them a slave, and it was now evident to Frederick. Frederick was not a typical slave. While living with Master Hugh, Frederick lived a life most slaves would never imagine. He not only was able to learn to read and write but he was able to make bonds with white children. Once being shipped off of the plantation Frederick would be sent to Mr. Covey in the beginning of 1833 to be “broken”. There with Mr. Covey Frederick became a rebel. After the first six months with Mr. Covey and numerous whippings, Fredrick did something most slaves would not fathom doing, and even fewer would be able to live to tell the story, he fought back. While off the plantation Frederick was given a root to put into his pocket and this root was supposed to keep him from ever being hit again. After being gone off the plantation for two days Frederick was confronted and Mr. Covey attempted to whip him only to get a defiant slave in return. That day, Frederick vowed to never be whipped again. In 1835 Frederick decided he would not let the year come to an end without attempting to escape from slavery. Not willing to do so alone, he shared the idea with associates to accompany him on the journey to freedom. Not knowing much about the North, made it hard to devise a secure escape route. Not only where they afraid of being caught and returned during the expedition but feared that once they reached their destination, New York, that they may be ratted out and still returned to the evils of slavery. Other things stopped slaves from escaping such as family ties, lack of money for once reaching the north and the fear of death by hunger, cold, sickness or even an animal. For Frederick and a few others escaping was a life or death situation. He was going to escape slavery or die trying. He knew that if he did not at least attempt to escape the chains of slavery he