Frederick douglass - Term Paper Example

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Name Instructor Class Date Frederick Douglass No one would think American slaves did not suffer great injustices, heartache and physical punishment but the inhumane treatment imposed by white slave owners was harsh even by historic standards. The slavery experience in America was unlike most any other such as in ancient Egypt or Greece where slaves might expect to be released in time…
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Frederick douglass
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Download file to see previous pages The African descendents were treated worse than farm animals which reduced them to relying on survival instincts, acting like animals. This ‘cause an effect’ reality reinforced stereotypes that slaves were more similar to animals than humans. Frederick Douglass experienced all of these indignities as a slave yet rose to prominence in the country that subjugated him and his people. Douglass wrote of his early life as a slave and along with its dehumanizing effects on a person in addition to his life as a freed man in the autobiography Frederick Douglass: Life of an American Slave. In it he details the aspects of life in the era and the circumstances that inspired him to ‘become a man’ instead of than remaining ‘in character’ as a slave. Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895) was born in Maryland and given the birth name Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. Douglass only saw his mother a few times before her death, when he was seven years-old. He was raised by his grandparents and aunt. Although Maryland was commonly considered part of the Northern states, slaves were used, but not to the same extent as in the South. Slaves in Maryland were typically treated more humanely than in states below the Mason-Dixon Line. Still, “Douglass witnessed many beatings during his first seven years and often was required to endure cold and hunger in his northern home.” (People and Events, 2008). Douglass was working in Baltimore by age eight where he was employed as a ship’s carpenter and was taught to read and write. It was during these early years he became to understand that some people thought slavery to be immoral. At age 15 his likely father, a white man named Douglass Aaron Anthony, died. He was forced to return to farm work where he was sadistically beaten on a daily basis by known slave breaker Edward Covey. (People and Events, 2008). Douglass turned on Covey, assaulting him while escaping the farm. He returned to Baltimore but was still considered a slave, a runaway slave which was a serious offense at the time. Fortunately while in Baltimore a friend gave him his own identification papers which allowed Douglass to escape slavery for good in September 1838. (McElrath, 2008). Douglass moved to Massachusetts and married Anna Murray of Baltimore, a freed slave herself. The couple would have five children. Douglass began his anti-slavery campaign by speaking to abolitionist groups in 1841 relating the reality of slavery. In 1845 he started writing about the slave experience publishing Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave in addition to speaking to audiences around the world, encouraged by William Lloyd Garrison (McElrath, 2008). Following two years of travel abroad, Douglass returned to America in 1847. He immediately accepted a position as publisher of the North Star, a weekly newspaper in New York where he moved with his family. Douglass, a strong-willed and well-known activist for slavery abolition, directed his energies to recruiting black soldier to fight for the North during the Civil War. At this time he was also speaking out for women’s rights in addition to freedom for blacks. Douglass has the honor of being the first black man to have an official title and position within the Federal Government. “From 1877 to 1881, he was the U.S. Marshall of the District of Columbia, from 1881 to 1886 he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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