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Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass
September 7, 2013
AP Paper

“We were all ranked together at the evaluation. Men and women, old and young, married and single, were ranked with horses, sheep, and swine.”-Frederick Douglass (Pg. 27 in The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass). In his memoir The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass distinguished the cruelty that he and most slaves faced at the hands of their masters. Treated no better than animals, Douglass extracted himself from the horrors of slavery and successfully changed his life. He became a presidential advisor, abolitionist, women’s rights activist, and published author. Yet, in his early years, Douglass and many other slaves were treated no better than or sometimes worse than livestock. As a slave, Douglass experienced cruelty so severe that it demonstrated how slaveholders viewed their slaves. In being treated as animals and given nothing, slaves had nothing to call their own, not even a bed to sleep in at night. As said in Douglass memoir on page six, “There was no bed given to slaves, unless one coarse blanket be considered such, and none but women and men had these.” With this being said, Douglass refers to what slaves had to sleep on, “And when this is done, old and young, male and female, married and single, drop down side by side one common bed-the cold, damp, floor.” Not given anything, slaves had no choice but to adapt to these dreadful conditions and without a voice, had to live up to the expectations of being less than humans. With the obvious evidence that slaves are treated inhumanely, the slaveholders during this time period believed that their way of slave treatment was not wrong, and some even treated their slaves more civil than others. Douglass admitted to this on page twenty-one in his memoir, “A city slave is almost a freeman compared to a slave on a plantation.” Being a city slave, they had more freedoms and more to eat than a slave on a plantation. But evidence shows that even city

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