Lucretia Anthony Auld, having recognized Fred's amazing potential, arranged for him to leave the Eastern Shore, although she and her family would retain official ownership of him. With Aaron Anthony's health fading, Fred was sent to live with Lucretia's brother-in-law and his family in the Fells Point shipbuilding area of Baltimore. Sophia Auld, his kind new mistress, gave him basic reading skills while teaching her own young son. Fred's lessons were stopped, though, by her husband, Hugh, who believed it was against the law (and the strict social codes) to teach a slave to read. Undaunted, Fred finished teaching himself to read, using old school papers and The Columbia Orator, a textbook on oratory which used many of history and literature's greatest speeches, most of which dealt with the rights of freedom and democracy. This experience would symbolize to Frederick, later in life, the first time he understood, not only the true meaning of freedom, but also the power of words. Through his education and his later conversion to religion, young Frederick galvanized his plan to escape the confines of slavery and live as a free man.
When Aaron Anthony died in October 1826, Frederick spent the next few years of his life being bounced back and forth between Talbot County and Baltimore as the Anthony relatives determined the division of the estate. As he entered his rebellious teenage years, Hugh and Sophia Auld felt unable to care for him any longer and returned him to Talbot County. Lucretia had since died but ownership of Frederick belonged to her husband, Captain Thomas Auld, and his new wife, who lived on Talbot Street in St. Michaels. Auld ran a small store and the post office on Cherry Street and Fred, living in the crowded household, just did not manage to keep out of trouble. After Frederick was caught teaching a Sabbath school to slave men (and the neighbors threatened to shoot him if he weren't brought to task), Frederick was rented out to Covey, a reputed "slave breaker" in McDaniel, and to the Freelands in St. Michaels. While at the Freeland farm, Frederick and five other men plotted to escape in a canoe up the Chesapeake Bay to Pennsylvania. Their plan is discovered and five of them, including Frederick, were brought to jail, dragged from St. Michaels to Easton tied behind horses and jeered at in every hamlet along the way. Thomas Auld left Frederick in jail for a week, anxiously awaiting his fate in fear of being "sold South" as slave dealers from offices on Easton's Federal, Market, and Washington streets came to examine him. Eventually, Thomas Auld paid his bail and sent him by steamboat back to Fells Point to Hugh. Frederick was allowed to return to his job as a caulker in the shipyards, which he had learned during his previous stay, and to keep a small percentage of his wages. It was in Baltimore that Frederick met Anna Murray, a free black woman from the Eastern Shore's Caroline County, living in Baltimore. She encouraged him to seek his freedom and, according to family legend, sold a feather bed to buy his train ticket. Disguised as a sailor, Fred Bailey walked onto a train in Baltimore on September 3, 1838, escaped north to freedom, and became Frederick Douglass.
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, we learn the significance and importance of Douglass learning to read, the affect the institution of slavery had on both whites and blacks, and why learning to read threatened the institution of slavery in general....
Frederick Douglass uses the chiasmus throughout his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave to highlight the irony of slavery's existence in a country that was built upon the ideals of freedom....
In Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, he appeals to the interest of the reader through his first hand accounts of slavery, his use of irony in these descriptions, and his balance between evasiveness and frankness.
In 1839, as the newly emerged Frederick Douglass (an alias chosen from a book he had read) Frederick quickly became a favorite speaker on the abolitionist and anti-slavery circuit, traveling throughout the country and the world to shed light on the horrors of America's "peculiar institution" and the harsh realities of the racial structure. He was a powerful orator and influential political figure, using his personal experiences to give a human face to the sufferings and evils of slavery; when he spoke of beatings, lashings, starvation, and cruelty, he was speaking from his own life experiences. His personal memories and knowledge of the slave experience formed a forceful two-pronged attack on America's racial problems: the slave system in the South and rampant racial prejudice in the North. He was radically different from the rest of the abolitionists of his era, who were, for the most part, upper-class white citizens. Unlike them, he was not just speaking out against a moral public wrong but also against something that he hated personally. He was certainly not the only runaway slave on the abolitionist circuit but, because of his self-training in oratory, he was by far the most powerful speaker. It is interesting to note that a good share of his public speaking career occurred while he was still legally enslaved and therefore subject to capture and return to slavery. It was not until 1848, after several years of active and prominent antislavery work in America and Europe, that a handful of British admirers raised £150 to buy his freedom. After the Civil War and the emancipation, Douglass continued to tour the country speaking out in favor of equal rights, the importance of education for African Americans, fair employment and against prejudice, lynchings, "Jim Crow" and other forms of oppression.
When Frederick was 6, the order was given that Betsy was to take Frederick to live at Wye House, fully separating him from his grandmother and the only home he had ever known. She walked him the 12 miles to Wye, and there left him in the care of Aunt Katy, Aaron Anthony's cook. Frederick lived in a kitchen closet for 18 months and, during his stay, began to understand more clearly the slave station to which he had been born. Certain events at Wye House, which he would later detail in his three autobiographies, would change his life. His aunt and uncle escaped north, sparking a manhunt and giving the young boy his first ideas of freedom. He witnessed his first beatings, starvation and cruelty, the true stuff of slave narratives and nightmares. But the most important event in young Frederick's life at Wye House was his association with Lucretia Anthony Auld. As Aaron Anthony's daughter, she was technically one of Fred's owners. Yet she was also a kind woman who recognized young Fred's potential and attempted to protect the boy. She arranged for him to be chosen from among 80 other slave children to become a companion for Daniel Lloyd, young master of Wye House. This opportunity allowed Fred to be exposed to the high culture of white society at that time and gave him his first inclination that it was possible to have positive race relations and that he, perhaps, had a purpose in life other than being a slave. Having grown up on the Eastern Shore, where there was a significant population of free African-Americans, young Fred Bailey's first hint of the idea of freedom came early in his life. It did not take long for this remarkable child to begin to question his place in the social order and the existence of this evil thing called slavery.
In his work, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, “An American Slave,” Frederick Douglass argues and exemplifies that his fate was destined outside of the walls of slavery.
Ice Cube, The Predator Frederick Douglass certainly knew that his narrative might be taken by many of his readers as a conscious rejection of Christian faith.
Frederick Douglass’ move to the city was the turning point in his life and without his move to the city, Fredrick Douglass would not have been the famous abolitionist and writer we know of today.
Douglass himself states earlier in his book that the "mere circumstance of being removed from that plantation to Baltimore..." (75) would be the foundation on which he found his freedom, but I see this quote, from a conversation with his master to his wife on the risks involved in educating a black man, a slave, to be first and most significant (of many other quite important) lessons in Fredericks lifetime of lessons....