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Frederick Douglass: A Struggling Champion Essay

1109 words - 4 pages

Frederick Douglass was an American abolitionist who was a very influential and inspirational person during the time of slavery and is still to this day. He was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, American Indian, or other minority. Frederick Douglass was born in 1818 and died in 1895 - from the time that slavery was universal in America to the time it was becoming a memory. Douglass was able to free himself from slavery and through years of tireless efforts, he helped to free millions more. His life was a demonstration of courage and persistence that continues to serve as an inspiration to those who struggle in the cause of liberty and justice. Without the works and struggles of Frederick Douglass, America's society might not be where it is today.Black children born into slavery in the 1800's didn't know that they deserved to be free or have their own civil rights. Until becoming educated, Frederick Douglas lacked this same knowledge of freedom. Coming to this realization is what gave Douglas his inspiration to become an abolitionist. Frederick Douglass was born in February, 1818 on the eastern shore of Maryland. After being separated from his mother when he was only a few weeks old, he was raised by his grandparents. The lives of slaves were full of hard times and sadness. Slaves were bought and sold at random. Their slaveholders consistently whipped them. Douglass describes the first time he ever witnessed a beating in his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. He says, "Before our master began whipping Aunt Hester, he took her into the kitchen, and stripped her from neck to waist, leaving her neck, shoulders, and back entirely naked. After crossing her hands, he tied them with a strong rope and led her to a stool under a large hook in the joist, put in for the purpose. He made her get upon the stool and tied her hands to the hook. She now stood fair for his infernal purpose. Her arms were stretched up at their full length, so that she stood upon the ends of her toes. After rolling up his sleeves, he commenced to lay on the heavy cow skin, and soon the warm, red blood came dripping to the floor. I was so terrified and horror-stricken at the sight that I hid myself in a closet and dared not venture out till long after the bloody transaction was over. I expected it would be my turn next. It was all new to me. I had never seen any thing like it before. I had always lived with my grandmother on the outskirts of the plantation, where she was put to raise the children of the younger women. I had therefore been, until now, out of the way of the bloody scenes that often occurred on the plantation." This is the only lifestyle he knew until he met his new master's wife, Sophia Auld.When he was about eight, he was sent to Baltimore to live as a houseboy with Hugh and Sophia Auld. It was shortly after his arrival that his new mistress taught him the alphabet. She showed him kindness...

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