May 16 2013
Ending the Nightmare of Slavery
Frederick Douglass’ life is marked by his accomplishment of ending slavery. Starting from his childhood where he first saw how terrible some slave owners were, then to the time when he was sold to Edward Covey, the “professional slave breaker” for a year. It was then that he gained the courage and spirit to end slavery. Some years later, Frederick escaped to the North and became an abolitionist, speaking incredible speeches about everyday slavery that would horrify the millions of people who listened to him, changing their views about slaves as humans and instead of property. Finally, in 1847, Frederick started the publication of the North Star a four-page weekly newspaper about the horror of slavery. Frederick Douglass’ life and work helped bring about awareness of slavery. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818 and his childhood was when he first saw how terrible some slave owners were. He was a still a child when he first saw the beginning of many series of horrors. It was when he was a child that he saw the blood-stained gates to the entrance of the hell of slavery. It was from this sight, he now knew how cruel and inhumane some slave owners were. His master’s overseer, Mr. Plummer was a very cold-hearted, inhumane, cruel person. Frederick would sometimes see pleasure in his face when Mr. Plummer was whipping a slave. No man should ever take pleasure in whipping a slave. When Douglass was still a child, he was the innocent victim to be a witness of the corruption Mr. Plummer was about to commit to Douglass’ aunt. “He then said to her, “Now, you d―d b―h, I’ll learn you how to disobey my orders!” and after rolling up his sleeves, he commenced to lay on the heavy cowskin, and soon the warm, red blood (amid heart rending shrieks from her, and horrid oaths from him) came dripping to the floor.” (Douglass, 20) Frederick was so horror-stricken and scared-stiff that he hid in a closet as the gruesome event was taking place. He dared not come out of the closest until the event was well over As a result of seeing his aunt brutally hit and whipped, Frederick began to feel the need to end all the pain of slavery. From this, Frederick began to believe that he had to stop all the misery and sadness of slavery. In all, here is where Frederick began to hate slavery. Frederick sometimes saw slave owners and overseers brutally whip there slaves in the fields. He saw children around the age of ten, working under the unbearable sun. Frederick realized how little sympathy the slave owners had to their slaves when they made children work. Children would sometimes become physically and mentally scarred from the extremely hard labor. And, as Frederick saw more and more cruelty and mistreatment, he began to feel more and more hatred for slavery and the bitter, mean, cold-hearted, slave owners.
On January 1, 1834, Frederick, at the age of sixteen, was sent to work as a field hand for Edward Covey the “professional slave breaker”. It was at this time when Frederick truly realized how slaves feel at the start of every day and the end of every night. Frederick realized how bad slavery truly was and why it must be stopped at this place. “I had been at my new home but one week before Mr. Covey gave me a very severe whipping, cutting my back, causing the blood to run, and raising ridges as large as my little finger.” (Douglass, 59). This had a large effect on Frederick right from the start because, it was not only his first punishment, but also it was very severe and he got it not even one week in! Already he had a sense of what slaves went through. Sadly though, this was the start of many more severe punishments to come. Covey punished Frederick for the first time like so, He then went to a large gum-tree, and with his axe cut three large switches and, after trimming them up neatly with his pocket-knife, he ordered me...
Cited: Douglass, Frederick. A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Ed. Robert O 'Meally. New York: Barnes & Noble Clasics, 2003. Print.
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