Slavery Within The Eyes Of Frederick Douglass

1327 words - 5 pages

What would it be like if we were a part of the slave years? To get an inside look of slavery we look through the eyes of a former slave Frederick Douglass. Through his experience of being grown into slavery in the south made him re-evaluate his life knowing he was worth more than being treated as someone else’s property. Not only was Douglass a part of the plantation system, city life, and brutal whipping but he was put into history as a great role model defining the true meaning of life. All people today should show respect to African Americans due to their struggle in reaching freedom and coming across difficulty.
Thomas Jefferson added an anti-slavery statement within the declaration of independence but was deleted by the southern delegates due to the pressure. As plantation systems developed, the south began to depend on the slaves even more to carry out the work of its large factory farms. Southerners saw slavery as a necessary part of the economy. Slave trade was over in 1808 by law, but the smuggling of slaves in the U.S continued until the outbreak of the civil war in 1860( Skiba pg. 319).Out of the three million African Americans in the U.S. two million five hundred thousand of them were forced as agricultural laborers. The number of African Americans increased to four million in 1860. Slavery itself was very brutal as slaves worked from sunrise to sundown, lived in flea infested shacks; were often whipped for minor “offenses” (Skiba pg. 319). Learning how to read and right was forbidden to slaves by law, they had limited knowledge and were forced to work as laborers on the plantations. One thousand slaves were gathered together by the Virginia militia to form a revolt in 1800 near Richmond. A man named Denmark Vesey was hung in 1822 for trying to put together a slave revolt but later on Nat Turner led a successful revolt that involved the death of one hundred and sixty people. William Lloyd Garrison, John Russwurm, Samuel Cornish, and Frederick Douglass all wrote in a newspaper including their own publications, explaining their view on slavery and wanting to put an end to it. The Underground Railroad was organized by abolitionists; it consisted of a system of safe houses and guides leading the slaves towards new life in the north (Skiba pg. 319).
Douglass was born in a slave cabin in Maryland in February 1818. He was primarily raised by his grandmother so the day she took him to the plantation of his master Douglass felt a sense of betrayal because she never told him she was going to leave him. He spent time with different masters within the plantation and the city. At around seven or eight years old he was chosen to live with Hugh Auld in Baltimore, when he moved over to Baltimore Sophia Auld began teaching Douglass the alphabet. Although giving a slave knowledge was unlawful Sophia Auld continued to educate him until her husband told her not to. At the age of eighteen he had an aborted escape and was sent back to Baltimore to...

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