The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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Slavery was a fulsome practice that was practiced by the Southern states in the antebellum and Civil War period. This practice viewed today, and by some then as morally unacceptable, was accepted in Southern society as a necessary evil. Many Northerners and some Southerners alike did not know how slaves suffered, but one slave would show how the slaves suffered. This slave's name was Frederick Douglass. In his book The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, he exposed the horrors of slavery. Douglass tells of the atrocities of slavery, to expose the defense of the cruel atrocities by slaveholders, and to incite the Northern populace to exhort the abolishment of slavery. Frederick Douglass, in his autobiography, singles out the atrocities of the “Peculiar Institution”, from foul to barbarous. In The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave, former slave turned abolitionist, Frederick Douglass (1845) states that many masters treated their slaves cruelly. Douglass (1845) tells of many instances of this inimical treatment. One horror is that many slave women were raped by their white master and then bore them children (p. 2-3) . Douglass' mother might have experienced this (p.2-3). Another was the inhumane ways that slaves were punished, ways such as whipping, having them killed, horribly beaten and many others (p.14-15). Author Fergus M. Bordewich in his book Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America, tells of more atrocious forms of punishment. One form that Bordewich (2005) describes is horrifically amputating a slave's ear or limb, and then the masters would either hanging the slave or putting the slave into a cage to die (p.25). Another Bordew... ... middle of paper ... ...igned it would still be three years and thousands of American men and boys, black and white, before emancipation was finally achieved. Douglass had written about the heinous crimes of slavery to expose the defense of these immoral acts by Southern plantation owners, and to strongly urge the people of the Northern states to push for abolition of slavery on American soil. By doing this Frederick Douglass along with his abolitionist comrades accomplished their goal and made America, in the words of Francis Scott Key, "a land of the free". A land with freedom for all races and nationalities. Works Cited Douglass, F. (1845/1995). Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass. New York, NY: Dover Publications Bordewich, F. (2005) Bound for canaan: the underground railroad and the war for the soul of america. New York, NY. HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
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