Fredrick Douglas Slave, Citizen , Freedom Fighter and Extraordinary American.

Essay by dlindleyA+, November 2005

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Fredrick Douglas personal experiences in Slave and Citizen illustrates 19th century race relations. Fredrick Douglas lead a exceptional life that brought freedom and equality to future generations through hard work and determination.

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1818, and was given the name Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey (Fredrick Douglas aka) after his mother Harriet Bailey. Because his mother belonged to Aaron Anthony so did Fredrick. Fredrick was told that his father was a white man but he never learned his identity. Many slave owners had sexual relations with female slaves and produced mixed raced children.

Aaron Anthony owned about thirty slaves and three farms. Fredrick's brief stay at the Anthony place affected him deeply. He saw floggings for the first time and later would remember the especially brutal treatment of his Aunt Hester at the hands of Captain Anthony. The slave was conditioned to violence and as Douglass recalled this often made slaves mean and insensitive to one another.

Slave owners tried to keep slaves in line by beating and whipping them.

Upon Fredrick's arrival at the Auld home, Fredrick asked Sophia Auld to teach him to read and she readily consented. He soon learned the alphabet and a few simple words. Sophia Auld was very excited about Fredericks progress and told her husband what she had done. Hugh Auld became furious at this because it was unlawful to teach a slave to read. Hugh Auld believed that if a slave knew how to read and write that it would make him unfit for a slave. A slave that could read and write would not longer obey his master without question or thought or even worse could forge papers that said he was free and thus escape to a northern state where...