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Frederick Douglass

analytical Essay
3537 words
3537 words
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Frederick Douglass 1 How did the early years of Frederick Douglass’ life affect the beliefs of the man he would become? Frederick Douglass’ adulthood was one of triumph and prestige. Still, he by no means gained virtue without struggle and conflict. There was much opposition and hostility against him. To fully understand all his thoughts and beliefs first one must look at his childhood. Frederick Augustus Bailey was born in February of 1818 to a black field hand named Harriet. He grew up on the banks of the Tuckahoe Creek deep within the woods of Maryland. Separated from his mother at an early age, he was raised by his grandparents Betsy and Isaac Bailey. Isaac and Betsy are not thought to be related. Isaac was a free man and a sawyer, while Betsy was an owned slave, but she kept her own rules. Her owner trusted her to watch over and raise the children of the slaves until they were old enough to begin their labor. She was allowed to keep her own cabin, and to farm food for the children and herself. It was not an easy job. While all of the mothers were busy working in the fields of their master, Aaron Anthony, she was busy watching over their infants. Betsy Bailey was quite a woman. She was a master fisher, and spent most of her days in the river or in the field farming. She was very intelligent and physically able bodied. Most historians credit Frederick’s intelligence to his extraordinary grandmother. Douglass later recalled not seeing his mother very often, just on the few times she would come to visit later in his life. At the age of six, Frederick’s carefree days of running and playing in the fields and came to an abrupt end. He was taken away from his grandmother to begin the toil and sweat of th... ... middle of paper ... ...of the Civil War and thereafter. He was the most influential of all the black leaders throughout the mid 19th century. Bibliography Bailey, Thomas A. The American Spirit. (Lexington: D. C. Health and Company, 1991) , 666. Blight, David. Frederick Douglass’ Civil War. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989) , 270. Bontemps, Arna. Free at Last. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1971) , 309. Martin, Waldo E. The Mind of Frederick Douglass. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984) , 333. McFreely, William S. Frederick Douglass. (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc, 1991),465. Meyer, Michael-ed., Frederick Douglass: The Narrative and Selected Writings. (New York: The Modern Libray, 1984.) , 391. Preston Dickson J. Young Frederick Douglass. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980.) , 242.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the early years of frederick douglass' life affected the beliefs of the man he would become.
  • Explains that frederick augustus bailey was born in february 1818 to a black field hand named harriet. he was raised by his grandparents betsy and isaac bailey.
  • Narrates how frederick's carefree days of running and playing in the fields ended when he was taken away from his grandmother to begin the toil and sweat of the field workers.
  • Narrates how katy resented lucretia auld, a resident of the house who had liked him, who gave him food when she wouldn't. frederick was forbidden to venture near lloyd's house, wye house.
  • Explains that douglass loved to watch the people, especially lloyd, and was an ideal example of an exploiter of the very profitable slave system.
  • Narrates how frederick began to spend time in the garden because he loved the fragrant smells and vibrant colors. he met lloyd's young son daniel and they became friends.
  • Describes how douglass moved to baltimore to live with hugh auld, the brother of aaron anthony's son-in-law, and became his playmate and guardian.
  • Describes how baltimore's urban slave life was different from that of a field hand. douglass enjoyed various privileges and opportunities that were denied to plantation slaves.
  • Analyzes how frederick became interested in learning to read after hearing mistress sophia reading the bible aloud. she made an untimely mistake, and mrs. auld ordered her to cease these lessons at once.
  • Analyzes how frederick douglass taught himself to read by watching carpenters initial timber, copying script of spelling books and the bible, and challenging his playmates to spelling matches.
  • Analyzes how douglass' resentment for slavery grew with the knowledge he gained from reading more and more.
  • Narrates how frederick was converted to christianity by a white methodist minister, reverend hanson, and charles johnson. douglass helped lawson to write the word, while he helped frederick with his spirit.
  • Explains that douglass worked as a field hand for the first time and was constantly whipped, sores were kept open all the time by his coarse clothing.
  • Describes how douglass struggled back to his master, thomas auld, after being brutally flogged by covey. frederick anticipated a beating when he returned.
  • Narrates how frederick was sure not to exclude his family and friends, and also his pupils, including henry and john harris, sandy jenkins, charles robertson and henry bailey. douglass was the youngest, but knew the geography of the surrounding area.
  • Describes how douglass was transformed into a skilled caulker and met anna murray, who planned to marry him as soon as frederick could escape. they settled in new bedford, massachusetts, to avoid the slave catchers.
  • Explains that frederick bailey chose the hero of sir walter scott's book, the lady of the lake, because he reminded him of himself.
  • Describes how frederick douglass became entranced by william lloyd garrison's magazine, the liberator, which gave him a clear understanding of the anti-slavery movement.
  • Narrates how frederick and anna's first two children were born. frederick supported the family by working at a brass foundry while anna worked over washtubs and did house cleaning.
  • Explains that frederick douglass began writing an account of his slave experiences in 1844 to put down people's thoughts of him never being a slave. his second book, my bondage and my freedom, followed.
  • Analyzes how douglass' abolition combined the subjective and objective dimensions of description and analysis. he knew how much this movement meant to southern slaves and that it increased their hope for liberty.
  • Compares douglass' views of white and black abolitionists in their declaration of sentiments in december 1833. whites were hardly as committed to achieving racial equality as blacks.
  • Analyzes how douglass could condemn the united states for slavery, but in the same speech he could lift up listeners spirits. he drew a lot of hope from the principles of the declaration of independence.
  • Explains that douglass was committed to making whites aware of the injustice blacks endured through his lectures and writings.
  • Analyzes how frederick douglass' editorials in the north star reflect his interest in the tensions between hope and despair among his people who were struggling for their freedom and their own survival.
  • Explains that douglass accomplished many feats worth noting, including being the "station master and conductor" of the underground railroad in rochester, raising two regiments of black soldiers during the civil war, and enacting the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution.
  • Explains that frederick douglass stood at the center of the crisis black intellectuals faced during the civil war and thereafter. he was the most influential of all black leaders throughout the 19th century.
  • Opines that bailey, thomas a., the american spirit, (lexington: d. c. health and company, 1991).
  • Explains martin, waldo e., the mind of frederick douglass.
  • Cites meyer, michael-ed., frederick douglass: the narrative and selected writings.
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