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Solved by verified expert:Paper on Douglass should be 5-8 pages typed and Double spaced. Font 12. One inch margins. (nothing less than 5 pages please!) paper should include a cover page and bibliography. NO OTHER SOURCES ARE PERMITTED. Cite quotes and facts as needed. – Describe what it was like to be a slave in the United States as told through the experience of Fredrick Douglass. (not a retelling of his life).- What was the impact of slavery on slave owners? be as thorough as possible addressing all aspects and environments of American slaves. Personal analysis is expected.Fredrick Douglass book – PDF IS INCLUDED! 🙂
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NARRATIVE
OF THE LIFE OF
FREDERICK DOUGLASS,
AN AMERICAN SLAVE
BY
FREDERICK DOUGLASS
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NARRATIVE
OF THE
LIFE
OF
FREDERICK DOUGLASS,
AN
AMERICAN SLAVE.
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
BOSTON
PUBLISHED AT THE ANTI-SLAVERY OFFICE,
NO. 25 CORNHILL
1845
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845,
BY FREDERICK DOUGLASS,
in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
Book: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Author: Frederick Douglass, 1817?–95
First published: 1845
The original book is in the public domain in the United
States and in most, if not all, other countries as well. Readers
outside the United States should check their own countries’
copyright laws to be certain they can legally download this
ebook. The Online Books Page has an FAQ which gives a
summary of copyright durations for many other countries, as
well as links to more official sources.
This PDF ebook was
created by José Menéndez.
PREFACE.
IN the month of August, 1841, I attended an anti-slavery
convention in Nantucket, at which it was my happiness to
become acquainted with FREDERICK DOUGLASS, the writer of
the following Narrative. He was a stranger to nearly every
member of that body; but, having recently made his escape from
the southern prison-house of bondage, and feeling his curiosity
excited to ascertain the principles and measures of the
abolitionists,—of whom he had heard a somewhat vague
description while he was a slave,—he was induced to give his
attendance, on the occasion alluded to, though at that time a
resident in New Bedford.
Fortunate, most fortunate occurrence!—fortunate for the
millions of his manacled brethren, yet panting for deliverance
from their awful thraldom!—fortunate for the cause of negro
emancipation, and of universal liberty!—fortunate for the land
of his birth, which he has already done so much to save and
bless!—fortunate for a large circle of friends and acquaintances,
whose sympathy and affection he has strongly secured by the
many sufferings he has endured, by his virtuous traits of
character, by his ever-abiding remembrance of those who are in
bonds, as being bound with them!—fortunate for the multitudes,
in various parts of our republic, whose minds he has enlightened
on the subject of slavery, and who have been melted to tears by
his pathos, or roused to virtuous indignation by his stirring
eloquence against the enslavers of men!—fortunate for himself,
as it at once brought him into the field of public usefulness,
vi
PREFACE
“gave the world assurance of a MAN,” quickened the slumbering
energies of his soul, and consecrated him to the great work of
breaking the rod of the oppressor, and letting the oppressed go
free!
I shall never forget his first speech at the convention—the
extraordinary emotion it excited in my own mind—the powerful
impression it created upon a crowded auditory, completely
taken by surprise—the applause which followed from the
beginning to the end of his felicitous remarks. I think I never
hated slavery so intensely as at that moment; certainly, my
perception of the enormous outrage which is inflicted by it, on
the godlike nature of its victims, was rendered far more clear
than ever. There stood one, in physical proportion and stature
commanding and exact—in intellect richly endowed—in natural
eloquence a prodigy—in soul manifestly “created but a little
lower than the angels”—yet a slave, ay, a fugitive slave,—
trembling for his safety, hardly daring to believe that on the
American soil, a single white person could be found who would
befriend him at all hazards, for the love of God and humanity!
Capable of high attainments as an intellectual and moral
being—needing nothing but a comparatively small amount of
cultivation to make him an ornament to society and a blessing to
his race—by the law of the land, by the voice of the people, by
the terms of the slave code, he was only a piece of property, a
beast of burden, a chattel personal, nevertheless!
A beloved friend from New Bedford prevailed on Mr.
DOUGLASS to address the convention. He came forward to the
platform with a hesitancy and embarrassment, necessarily the
attendants of a sensitive mind in such a novel position. After
apologizing for his ignorance, and reminding the audience that
slavery was a poor school for the human intellect and heart, he
proceeded to narrate some of the facts in his own history as a
slave, and in the course of his speech gave utterance to many
PREFACE
vii
noble thoughts and thrilling reflections. As soon as he had taken
his seat, filled with hope and admiration, I rose, and declared
that PATRICK HENRY, of revolutionary fame, never made a
speech more eloquent in the cause of liberty, than the one we
had just listened to from the lips of that hunted fugitive. So I
believed at that time—such is my belief now. I reminded the
audience of the peril which surrounded this self-emancipated
young man at the North,—even in Massachusetts, on the soil of
the Pilgrim Fathers, among the descendants of revolutionary
sires; and I appealed to them, whether they would ever allow
him to be carried back into slavery,—law or no law,
constitution or no constitution. The response was unanimous
and in thunder-tones—“NO!” “Will you succor and protect him
as a brother-man—a resident of the old Bay State?” “YES!”
shouted the whole mass, with an energy so startling, that the
ruthless tyrants south of Mason and Dixon’s line might almost
have heard the mighty burst of feeling, and recognized it as the
pledge of an invincible determination, on the part of those who
gave it, never to betray him that wanders, but to hide the
outcast, and firmly to abide the consequences.
It was at once deeply impressed upon my mind, that, if Mr.
DOUGLASS could be persuaded to consecrate his time and
talents to the promotion of the anti-slavery enterprise, a
powerful impetus would be given to it, and a stunning blow at
the same time inflicted on northern prejudice against a colored
complexion. I therefore endeavored to instil hope and courage
into his mind, in order that he might dare to engage in a
vocation so anomalous and responsible for a person in his
situation; and I was seconded in this effort by warm-hearted
friends, especially by the late General Agent of the
Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Mr. JOHN A. COLLINS,
whose judgment in this instance entirely coincided with my
own. At first, he could give no encouragement; with unfeigned
viii
PREFACE
diffidence, he expressed his conviction that he was not adequate
to the performance of so great a task; the path marked out was
wholly an untrodden one; he was sincerely apprehensive that he
should do more harm than good. After much deliberation,
however, he consented to make a trial; and ever since that
period, he has acted as a lecturing agent, under the auspices
either of the American or the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery
Society. In labors he has been most abundant; and his success in
combating prejudice, in gaining proselytes, in agitating the
public mind, has far surpassed the most sanguine expectations
that were raised at the commencement of his brilliant career. He
has borne himself with gentleness and meekness, yet with true
manliness of character. As a public speaker, he excels in pathos,
wit, comparison, imitation, strength of reasoning, and fluency of
language. There is in him that union of head and heart, which is
indispensable to an enlightenment of the heads and a winning of
the hearts of others. May his strength continue to be equal to his
day! May he continue to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge
of God,” that he may be increasingly serviceable in the cause of
bleeding humanity, whether at home or abroad!
It is certainly a very remarkable fact, that one of the most
efficient advocates of the slave population, now before the
public, is a fugitive slave, in the person of FREDERICK
DOUGLASS; and that the free colored population of the United
States are as ably represented by one of their own number, in
the person of CHARLES LENOX REMOND, whose eloquent
appeals have extorted the highest applause of multitudes on
both sides of the Atlantic. Let the calumniators of the colored
race despise themselves for their baseness and illiberality of
spirit, and henceforth cease to talk of the natural inferiority of
those who require nothing but time and opportunity to attain to
the highest point of human excellence.
PREFACE
ix
It may, perhaps, be fairly questioned, whether any other
portion of the population of the earth could have endured the
privations, sufferings and horrors of slavery, without having
become more degraded in the scale of humanity than the slaves
of African descent. Nothing has been left undone to cripple their
intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature,
obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet
how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most
frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for
centuries! To illustrate the effect of slavery on the white man,—
to show that he has no powers of endurance, in such a
condition, superior to those of his black brother,—DANIEL
O’CONNELL, the distinguished advocate of universal
emancipation, and the mightiest champion of prostrate but not
conquered Ireland, relates the following anecdote in a speech
delivered by him in the Conciliation Hall, Dublin, before the
Loyal National Repeal Association, March 31, 1845. “No
matter,” said Mr. O’CONNELL, “under what specious term it
may disguise itself, slavery is still hideous. It has a natural, an
inevitable tendency to brutalize every noble faculty of man. An
American sailor, who was cast away on the shore of Africa,
where he was kept in slavery for three years, was, at the
expiration of that period, found to be imbruted and stultified—
he had lost all reasoning power; and having forgotten his native
language, could only utter some savage gibberish between
Arabic and English, which nobody could understand, and which
even he himself found difficulty in pronouncing. So much for
the humanizing influence of THE DOMESTIC INSTITUTION!”
Admitting this to have been an extraordinary case of mental
deterioration, it proves at least that the white slave can sink as
low in the scale of humanity as the black one.
Mr. DOUGLASS has very properly chosen to write his own
Narrative, in his own style, and according to the best of his
x
PREFACE
ability, rather than to employ some one else. It is, therefore,
entirely his own production; and, considering how long and
dark was the career he had to run as a slave,—how few have
been his opportunities to improve his mind since he broke his
iron fetters,—it is, in my judgment, highly creditable to his head
and heart. He who can peruse it without a tearful eye, a heaving
breast, an afflicted spirit,—without being filled with an
unutterable abhorrence of slavery and all its abettors, and
animated with a determination to seek the immediate overthrow
of that execrable system,—without trembling for the fate of this
country in the hands of a righteous God, who is ever on the side
of the oppressed, and whose arm is not shortened that it cannot
save,—must have a flinty heart, and be qualified to act the part
of a trafficker “in slaves and the souls of men.” I am confident
that it is essentially true in all its statements; that nothing has
been set down in malice, nothing exaggerated, nothing drawn
from the imagination; that it comes short of the reality, rather
than overstates a single fact in regard to SLAVERY AS IT IS. The
experience of FREDERICK DOUGLASS, as a slave, was not a
peculiar one; his lot was not especially a hard one; his case may
be regarded as a very fair specimen of the treatment of slaves in
Maryland, in which State it is conceded that they are better fed
and less cruelly treated than in Georgia, Alabama, or Louisiana.
Many have suffered incomparably more, while very few on the
plantations have suffered less, than himself. Yet how deplorable
was his situation! what terrible chastisements were inflicted
upon his person! what still more shocking outrages were
perpetrated upon his mind! with all his noble powers and
sublime aspirations, how like a brute was he treated, even by
those professing to have the same mind in them that was in
Christ Jesus! to what dreadful liabilities was he continually
subjected! how destitute of friendly counsel and aid, even in his
greatest extremities! how heavy was the midnight of woe which
PREFACE
xi
shrouded in blackness the last ray of hope, and filled the future
with terror and gloom! what longings after freedom took
possession of his breast, and how his misery augmented, in
proportion as he grew reflective and intelligent,—thus
demonstrating that a happy slave is an extinct man! how he
thought, reasoned, felt, under the lash of the driver, with the
chains upon his limbs! what perils he encountered in his
endeavors to escape from his horrible doom! and how signal
have been his deliverance and preservation in the midst of a
nation of pitiless enemies!
This Narrative contains many affecting incidents, many
passages of great eloquence and power; but I think the most
thrilling one of them all is the description DOUGLASS gives of
his feelings, as he stood soliloquizing respecting his fate, and
the chances of his one day being a freeman, on the banks of the
Chesapeake Bay—viewing the receding vessels as they flew
with their white wings before the breeze, and apostrophizing
them as animated by the living spirit of freedom. Who can read
that passage, and be insensible to its pathos and sublimity?
Compressed into it is a whole Alexandrian library of thought,
feeling, and sentiment—all that can, all that need be urged, in
the form of expostulation, entreaty, rebuke, against that crime of
crimes,—making man the property of his fellow-man! O, how
accursed is that system, which entombs the godlike mind of
man, defaces the divine image, reduces those who by creation
were crowned with glory and honor to a level with four-footed
beasts, and exalts the dealer in human flesh above all that is
called God! Why should its existence be prolonged one hour? Is
it not evil, only evil, and that continually? What does its
presence imply but the absence of all fear of God, all regard for
man, on the part of the people of the United States? Heaven
speed its eternal overthrow!
xii
PREFACE
So profoundly ignorant of the nature of slavery are many
persons, that they are stubbornly incredulous whenever they
read or listen to any recital of the cruelties which are daily
inflicted on its victims. They do not deny that the slaves are
held as property; but that terrible fact seems to convey to their
minds no idea of injustice, exposure to outrage, or savage
barbarity. Tell them of cruel scourgings, of mutilations and
brandings, of scenes of pollution and blood, of the banishment
of all light and knowledge, and they affect to be greatly
indignant at such enormous exaggerations, such wholesale
misstatements, such abominable libels on the character of the
southern planters! As if all these direful outrages were not the
natural results of slavery! As if it were less cruel to reduce a
human being to the condition of a thing, than to give him a
severe flagellation, or to deprive him of necessary food and
clothing! As if whips, chains, thumb-screws, paddles,
bloodhounds, overseers, drivers, patrols, were not all
indispensable to keep the slaves down, and to give protection to
their ruthless oppressors! As if, when the marriage institution is
abolished, concubinage, adultery, and incest, must not
necessarily abound; when all the rights of humanity are
annihilated, any barrier remains to protect the victim from the
fury of the spoiler; when absolute power is assumed over life
and liberty, it will not be wielded with destructive sway!
Skeptics of this character abound in society. In some few
instances, their incredulity arises from a want of reflection; but,
generally, it indicates a hatred of the light, a desire to shield
slavery from the assaults of its foes, a contempt of the colored
race, whether bond or free. Such will try to discredit the
shocking tales of slaveholding cruelty which are recorded in this
truthful Narrative; but they will labor in vain. Mr. DOUGLASS
has frankly disclosed the place of his birth, the names of those
who claimed ownership in his body and soul, and the names
PREFACE
xiii
also of those who committed the crimes which he has alleged
against them. His statements, therefore, may easily be
disproved, if they are untrue.
In the course of his Narrative, he relates two instances of
murderous cruelty,—in one of which a planter deliberately shot
a slave belonging to a neighboring plantation, who had
unintentionally gotten within his lordly domain in quest of fish;
and in the other, an overseer blew out the brains of a slave who
had fled to a stream of water to escape a bloody scourging. Mr.
DOUGLASS states that in neither of these instances was any thing
done by way of legal arrest or judicial investigation. The
Baltimore American, of March 17, 1845, relates a similar case
of atrocity, perpetrated with similar impunity—as follows:—
“Shooting a slave.—We learn, upon the authority of a letter
from Charles county, Maryland, received by a gentleman of this
city, that a young man, named Matthews, a nephew of General
Matthews, and whose father, it is believed, holds an office at
Washington, killed one of the slaves upon his father’s farm by
shooting him. The letter states that young Matthews had been
left in charge of the farm; that he gave an order to the servant,
which was disobeyed, when he proceeded to the house,
obtained a gun, and, returning, shot the servant. He
immediately, the letter continues, fled to his father’s residence,
where he still remains unmolested.”—Let it never be forgotten,
that no slaveholder or overseer can be convicted of any outrage
perpetrated on the person of a slave, however diabolical it may
be, on the testimony of colored witnesses, whether bond or free.
By the slave code, they are adjudged to be as incompetent to
testify against a white man, as though they were indeed a part of
the brute creation. Hence, there is no legal protection in fact,
whatever there may be in form, for the slave population; and
any amount of cruelty may be inflicted on them with impunity.
xiv
PREFACE
Is it possible for the human mind to conceive of a more horrible
state of society?
The effect of a religious profession on the conduct of
southern masters is vividly described in the following Narrative,
and shown to be any thing but salutary. In the nature of the case,
it must be in the highest degree pernicious. The testimony of
Mr. DOUGLASS, on this point, is sustained by a cloud of
witnesses, whose veracity is unimpeachable. “A slaveholder’s
profession of Christianity is a palpable imposture. He is a felon
of the highest grade. He is a man-stealer. It is of no importance
what you put in the other scale.”
Reader! are you with the man-stealers in sympathy and
purpose, or on the side of their down-trodden victims? If with
the former, then are you the foe of God and man. If with the
latter, what are you prepared to do and dare in their behalf? Be
faithful, be vigilant, be untiring in your efforts to break every
yoke, and let the oppressed go free. Come what may—cost what
it may—inscribe on the banner which you unfurl to the breeze,
as your religious and political motto—“NO COMPROMISE WITH
SLAVERY! NO UNION WITH SLAVEHOLDERS!”
WM. LLOYD GARRISON.
BOSTON, May 1, 1845.
LETTER
FROM WENDELL PHILLIPS, ESQ.
BOSTON, April 22, 1845.
My Dear Friend:
You remember the old fable of “The Man and
the Lion,” where the lion complained that he should not be so
mis …
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