Once freed, literacy helped Douglass adjust to a new society. Without his struggle to learn how to read, he would not have been able to live his dream as a free man.
Another one of Douglass’s achievements was his physical and violent encounter with Edward Covey. Covey had an important reputation as a slave-breaker and successfully tamed problem slaves during the course of a year. Covey used the method of working them up and whipping them. After disobeying Thomas Auld numerous times, Auld sent Douglass to Covey for a year. Covey brutally whipped Douglass weekly. One day, Douglass became ill in the fields and Covey whipped him. He ran away to Thomas Auld to file a complaint, but was rejected. When Douglass returned to Covey, he tried to whip him, but Douglass refused to let him and he fought back. The fight lasted approximately two hours and ended in somewhat of a draw. Even though Douglass may not have been successful in winning the fight, he was successful in avoiding any other beatings or whippings from Covey. Douglass vowed to never be whipped by his master again. Covey showed that his reputation as a slave-breaker was the most important thing to him by keeping the fight surreptitious. Without his struggle with Covey, Douglass would have continued to be brutally whipped by his master.
After Douglass had escaped from slavery, he attended a Bristol County Anti-Slavery Society meeting in his new hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts in August of 1841. One of