Frederick Douglas Essay

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Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in Talbot County, Maryland in 1818. His mother was a slave named Harriet Bailey, who brought him into the world in the cabin of her mother, Betsy Bailey, also a slave but whose husband was free. The cabin was next to a small ravine on the Tuckahoe Creek near what is now called the village of Cordova. It was on the property called Holme Hill Farm owned by their owner, Aaron Anthony. Frederick’s mother soon returned to the farm where she worked, and he only saw her a few times thereafter; she died when he was eight. Frederick lived with his grandmother until he was six, and then was moved to the much larger Wye House plantation where his owner, Aaron Anthony, was employed as an overseer. Anthony died within two years, and Frederick came into the possession of Thomas Auld, Anthony’s son-in-law. He was sent by Auld’s wife to her sister-in-law in Baltimore, Sophia Auld. He was recognized as a gifted young boy, and Sophia began to teach him the alphabet, and to read, although doing so was illegal. Her husband Hugh Auld discovered his wife’s actions and insisted that she stop. He warned that if a slave were to read, he would learn enough to want to be free. Frederick overheard, and later described the statement as a “decidedly antislavery lecture,” one that made him resolve to continue to learn to read, and to become free. Frederick did continue learning – from white children in the neighborhood – and began reading everything he was able to see or to get into his possession. The Columbian Orator, a lesson book designed for classical education and public speaking, taught him the derivation of much of western philosophical thought from Greek and Latin literature, and taught him as well a great deal about freedom and human rights. It also taught him the principles of

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