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Transcript of Frederick Douglass
"If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
Frederick Douglas-Isaac Myers Maritime Park
First African American Shipyard
"Going to live at Baltimore laid the foundation, and opened the gateway, to all my subsequent prosperity."--Ch. 5, A Narrative
Douglass as a slave
Douglass was born in Talbot County, Maryland in 1818.
He was separated from his mother shortly after he was born and while the identity of his father is uncertain, it is thought that his father was a white slavemaster.
Douglass was raised by his grandmother until age 7 when he was sent to Wye House Plantation.
Wye House Plantation, home of Colonol Lloyd
At the Wye House Plantation, Douglass became a companion for Lloyd's son, Daniel
From the Wye House Plantation, Douglass was sent to Baltimore's Fells Point, to the home of Captain Auld, where he became a companion to Captain Auld's son.
Douglass soon established a relationship with Captai Auld's wife who began to teach Douglass to read; however, because it was against the law to teach slaves to read, Captain Auld forbade his wife from continuing to teach Douglass.
BUT this did not stop Douglass from reading; anything he could get his hands on, he would read. This is how he became an educated man and how he learned that slavery was not a common practice in other parts of the country.
Douglass was soon sent to another master and it was there that Douglass began to teach other slaves how to read, holding classes every Sunday. When other slave owners in the area heard of this, they were outraged. Douglass was forced to stop holding the classes, and his old master, Captain Auld, took him back.
Captain Auld, angry at Douglass's behavior, sent Douglass to work for a man named Mr. Covey. Mr. Covey was known as a harsh slave owner and had a repuation for being able to "break" slaves. It was during his time at Mr. Covey's that Douglass was forced to perform harsh physical labor and was whipped regularly.
He joined an African Methodist Episcopal Church where he met free blacks and began to think about his own freedom.
At this time, Douglass was also learning a trade in the shipyards of Baltimore
In 1838, Douglass escaped slavery heading north to New York.
He escaped with the financial support of a free black woman named Anna Murray, whom he later married when he settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
"It is not that I loved Maryland less, I hated slavery more."