Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglas

778 words - 4 pages

Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass It is the narrative by Frederick Douglass that unveils the truly evil face of slavery. He writes of some of the most ghastly and inhuman practices and the total denial of justice to the slaves. In the track of his Narrative, he tells of two instances of lethal brutality, --in one of which a planter intentionally and consciously shot a slave belonging to an adjoining plantation, who had accidentally gotten inside his lordly domain in search of fish; and in the other, a supervisor blew out the brains of a slave who had escaped to a brook of water to get away from a bloody scourge. Mr. DOUGLASS affirms that in neither of these cases was any thing done by way of officially authorized arrest or legal inquiry. The idea is that it should never be forgotten, that no slaveholder or superintendent can be convicted of any offence committed on the person of a slave, no matter how tyrannical it may be, on the authentication of colored eyewitness, whether bond or free. By the slave convention, they are regarded as being as inept to testify in opposition to a white man, as though they were in reality a part of the beast or animal creation. Hence, there is no legal shelter in fact, whatever there may be in structure, for the slave population; and any amount of brutality may be imposed on them with impunity. This narrative brings forth questions like, is it likely for the human mind to imagine of a more ghastly and hideous state of society? I WAS born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, and about twelve miles from Easton, in Talbot county, Maryland. I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it. By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs, and it is the wish of most masters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant. I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday. They seldom come nearer to it than planting-time, harvest-time, cherry-time, spring-time, or fall-time. A want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood. The white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be...

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