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Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1892)

Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1892) frontispiece.jpg

LIFE AND TIMES

OF

Frederick Douglass

WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.

His Early Life as a Slave, His Escape from Bondage,

AND

His Complete History to the Present Time,

INCLUDING

HIS CONNECTION WITH THE ANTI-SLAVERY MOVEMENT; HIS LABORS IN GREAT BRITAIN
AS WELL AS IN HIS OWN COUNTRY; HIS EXPERIENCE IN THE CONDUCT OF AN
INFLUENTIAL NEWSPAPER; HIS CONNECTION WITH THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD;
HIS RELATIONS WITH JOHN BROWN AND THE HARPER'S FERRY RAID; HIS
RECRUITING THE 54th AND 55th MASS. COLORED REGIMENTS; HIS INTER-
VIEWS WITH PRESIDENTS LINCOLN AND JOHNSON; HIS APPOINTMENT
BY GEN. GRANT TO ACCOMPANY THE SANTO DOMINGO COMMISSION—
ALSO TO A SEAT IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA;
HIS APPOINTMENT AS UNITED STATES MARSHAL BY PRESIDENT
R. B. HAYES; ALSO HIS APPOINTMENT TO BE RECORDER OF
DEEDS IN WASHINGTON BY PRESIDENT J. A. GARFIELD;
WITH MANY OTHER INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT
EVENTS OF HIS MOST EVENTFUL LIFE;

WITH

An Introduction by Mr. George L. Ruffin,

OF BOSTON.

New Revised Edition.


BOSTON:
DE WOLFE & FISKE CO.


 

Copyright, 1892,
By DE WOLFE, FISKE & CO.

 

 

CONTENTS.





AUTHOR'S BIRTH.

Author's place of birth—Description of country—Its inhabitants—Genealogical trees—Method of counting time in slave districts—Date of author's birth—Names of grandparents—Their cabin—Home with them—Slave practice of separating mothers from their children—Author's recollections of his mother—Who was his father? 25


REMOVAL FROM GRANDMOTHER'S.

Author's early home—Its charms—Author's ignorance of "old master"—His gradual perception of the truth concerning him—His relations to Col. Edward Lloyd—Author's removal to "old master's" home—His journey thence—His separation from his grandmother—His grief. 29


TROUBLES OF CHILDHOOD.

Col. Lloyd's plantation—Aunt Katy—Her cruelty and ill-nature—Capt. Anthony's partiality to Aunt Katy—Allowance of food—Author's hunger—Unexpected rescue by his mother—The reproof of Aunt Katy—Sleep—A slave-mother's love—Author's inheritance—His mother's acquirements—Her death. 34


A GENERAL SURVEY OF THE SLAVE PLANTATION.

Home plantation of Colonel Lloyd—Its isolation—Its industries—The slave rule—Power of overseers—Author finds some enjoyment—Natural scenery—Sloop "Sally Lloyd"—Wind-mill—Slave quarter—"Old master's" house—Stables, store-houses, etc., etc.—The great house—Its surroundings—Lloyd Burial-place—Superstition of Slaves—Colonel Lloyd's wealth—Negro politeness—Doctor Copper—Captain Anthony—His family—Master Daniel Lloyd—His brothers—Social etiquette. 40


A SLAVEHOLDER'S CHARACTER.

Increasing acquaintance with old master—Evils of unresisted passion—Apparent tenderness—A man of trouble—Custom of muttering to himself—Brutal outrage—A drunken overseer—Slaveholder's impatience—Wisdom of appeal—A base and selfish attempt to break up a courtship. 50


A CHILD'S REASONING.

The author's early reflections on Slavery—Aunt Jennie and Uncle Noah—Presentiment of one day becoming a freeman—Conflict between an overseer and a slave woman—Advantage of resistance—Death of an overseer—Col. Lloyd's plantation home—Monthly distribution of food—Singing of Slaves—An explanation—The slaves' food and clothing—Naked children—Life in the quarter—Sleeping-places—not beds—Deprivation of sleep—Care of nursing babies—Ash cake—Contrast. 56


LUXURIES AT THE GREAT HOUSE.

Contrasts—Great House luxuries—Its hospitality—Entertainments—Fault-finding—Shameful humiliation of an old and faithful coachman—William Wilks—Curious incident—Expressed satisfaction not always genuine—Reasons for suppressing the truth. 65


CHARACTERISTICS OF OVERSEERS.

Austin Gore—Sketch of his character—Overseers as a class—Their peculiar characteristics—The marked individuality of Austin Gore—His sense of duty—Murder of poor Denby—Sensation—How Gore made his peace with Col. Lloyd—Other horrible murders—No laws for the protection of slaves possible of being enforced. 75


CHANGE OF LOCATION.

Miss Lucretia—Her kindness—How it was manifested—"Ike"—A battle with him—Miss Lucretia's balsam—Bread—How it was obtained—Gleams of sunset amidst the general darkness—Suffering from cold—How we took our meal mush—Preparations for going to Baltimore—Delight at the change—Cousin Tom's opinion of Baltimore—Arrival there—Kind reception—Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Auld—Their son Tommy—My relations to them—My duties—A turning-point in my life. 83


LEARNING TO READ.

City annoyances—Plantation regrets—My mistress—Her history—Her kindness—My master—His sourness—My comforts—Increased sensitiveness—My occupation—Learning to read—Baneful effects of slaveholding on my dear, good mistress—Mr. Hugh forbids Mrs. Sophia to teach me further—Clouds gather on my bright prospects—Master Auld's exposition of the Philosophy of Slavery—City slaves—Country slaves—Contrasts—Exceptions—Mr. Hamilton's two slaves—Mrs. Hamilton's cruel treatment of them—Piteous aspect presented by them—No power to come between the slave and slaveholder. 91


GROWING IN KNOWLEDGE.

My mistress—Her slaveholding duties—Their effects on her originally noble nature—The conflict in her mind—She opposes my learning to read—Too late—She had given me the "inch," I was resolved to take the "ell"—How I pursued my study to read—My tutors—What progress I made—Slavery—What I heard said about it—Thirteen years old—Columbian orator—Dialogue—Speeches—Sheridan—Pitt—Lords Chatham and Fox—Knowledge increasing—Liberty—Singing—Sadness— Unhappiness of Mrs. Sophia—My hatred of slavery—One Upas tree overshadaws us all. 99


RELIGIOUS NATURE AWAKENED.

Abolitionists spoken of—Eagerness to know the meaning of word—Consults the dictionary—Incendiary information—The enigma solved—"Nat Turner" insurrection—Cholera—Religion—Methodist minister—Religious impressions—Father Lawson—His character and occupation—His influence over me—Our mutual attachment—New hopes and aspirations—Heavenly light—Two Irishmen on wharf—Conversation with them—Learning to write—My aims. 108


THE VICISSITUDES OF SLAVE LIFE.

Death of old Master's son Richard, speedily followed by that of old Master—Valuation and division of all the property, including the slaves—Sent for to come to Hillsborough to be valued and divided—Sad prospects and grief—Parting—Slaves have no voice in deciding their own destinies—General dread of falling into Master Andrew's hands—His drunkenness—Good fortune in falling to Miss Lucretia—She allows my return to Baltimore—Joy at Master Hugh's—Death of Miss Lucretia—Master Thomas Auld's second marriage—The new wife unlike the old—Again removed from Master Hugh's—Reasons for regret—Plan of escape. 116


EXPERIENCE IN ST. MICHAELS.

St. Michaels and its inhabitants—Capt. Auld—His new wife—Sufferings from hunger—Forced to steal—Argument in vindication thereof—Southern camp-meeting—What Capt. Auld did there—Hopes—Suspicions—The result—Faith and works at variance—Position in the church—Poor Cousin Henny—Methodist preachers—Their disregard of the slaves—One exception—Sabbath-school—How and by whom broken up—Sad change in my prospects—Covey, the negro-breaker. 126

 

CHAPTER XV.

COVEY, THE NEGRO BREAKER.

Journey to Covey's—Meditations by the way—Covey's house—Family—Awkwardness as a field hand—A cruel beating—Why given—Description of Covey—First attempt at driving oxen—Hair-breadth escape—Ox and man alike property—Hard labor more effective than the whip for breaking down the spirit—Cunning and trickery of Covey—Family worship—Shocking and indecent contempt for chastity—Great mental agitation—Anguish beyond description. 140


CHAPTER XVI.

ANOTHER PRESSURE OF THE TYRANT'S VISE.

Experience at Covey's summed up—First six month's severer than the remaining six—Preliminaries to the change—Reasons for narrating the circumstances—Scene in the treading-yard—Author taken ill—Escapes to St. Michaels—The pursuit—Suffering in the woods—Talk with Master Thomas—His beating—Driven back to Covey's—The slaves never sick—Natural to expect them to feign sickness—Laziness of slaveholders. 155


CHAPTER XVII.

THE LAST FLOGGING.

A sleepless night—Return to Covey's—Punished by him—The chase defeated—Vengeance postponed—Musings in the woods—The alternative—Deplorable spectacle—Night in the woods—Expected attack—Accosted by Sandy—A friend, not a master—Sandy's hospitality—The ash-cake supper—Interview with Sandy—His advice—Sandy a conjuror as well as a Christian—The magic root—Strange meeting with Covey—His manner—Covey's Sunday face—Author's defensive resolve—The fight—The victory, and its results. 164


CHAPTER XVIII.

NEW RELATIONS AND DUTIES.

Change of masters—Benefits derived by change—Fame of the fight with Covey—Reckless unconcern—Author's abhorrence of slavery—Ability to read a cause of prejudice—The holidays— How spent—Sharp hit at slavery—Effects Of holidays—Difference between Covey and Freeland—An irreligious master preferred to a religious one—Hard life at Covey's useful to the author—Improved condition does not bring contentment—Congenial society at Freeland's—Author's Sabbath-school—Secrecy necessary—Affectionate relations of tutor and pupils—Confidence and friendship among slaves—Slavery the inviter of vengeance. 179


CHAPTER XIX.

THE RUNAWAY PLOT.

New Year's thoughts and meditations—Again hired by Freeland—Kindness no compensation for slavery—Incipient steps toward escape—Considerations leading thereto—Hostility to slavery—Solemn vow taken—Plan divulged to slaves—Columbian orator again—Scheme gains favor—Danger of discovery—Skill of slaveholders—Suspicion and coercion—Hymns with double meaning—Consultation—Pass-word—Hope and fear—Ignorance of Geography—Imaginary difficulties—Patrick Henry—Sandy a dreamer—Route to the north mapped out—Objections—Frauds—Passes—Anxieties—Fear of failure—Strange presentiment—Coincidence—Betrayal—Arrests—Resistance—Mrs. Freeland—Prison—Brutal Jests—Passes eaten—Denial—Sandy—Dragged behind horses—Slave traders—Alone in prison—Sent to Baltimore. 191


CHAPTER XX.

APPRENTICESHIP LIFE.

Nothing lost in my attempt to run away—Comrades at home—Reasons for sending me away—Return to Baltimore—Tommy changed—Caulking in Gardiner's ship yard—Desperate fight—Its causes—Conflict between white and black labor—Outrage—Testimony—Master Hugh—Slavery in Baltimore—My condition improves—New associations—Slaveholder's right to the slave's wages—How to make a discontented slave. 219


CHAPTER XXI.

ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY.

Closing incidents in my "Life as a Slave"—Discontent—Suspicions—Master's generosity—Difficulties in the way of escape— Plan to obtain money—Allowed to hire my time—A gleam of hope—Attend camp-meeting—Anger of Master Hugh—The result—Plans of escape—Day for departure fixed—Harassing doubts and fears—Painful thoughts of separation from friends.233

 

 

SECOND PART.


CHAPTER I.

ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY.

Reasons for not having revealed the manner of escape—Nothing of romance in the method—Danger—Free papers—Unjust tax—Protection papers—"Free trade and sailors' rights"—American eagle—Railroad train—Unobserving conductor—Capt. McGowan—Honest German—Fears—Safe arrival in Philadelphia—Ditto in New York. 242


CHAPTER II.

LIFE AS A FREEMAN.

Loneliness and insecurity—"Allender's Jake"—Succored by a sailor—David Ruggles—Marriage—Steamer J. W. Richmond—Stage to New Bedford—Arrival there—Driver's detention of baggage—Nathan Johnson—Change of name—Why called "Douglass"—Obtaining Work—The Liberator and its Editor.250


CHAPTER III.

INTRODUCED TO THE ABOLITIONISTS.

Anti-Slavery Convention at Nantucket—First Speech—Much Sensation—Extraordinary Speech of Mr. Garrison—Anti-Slavery Agency—Youthful Enthusiasm—Fugitive Slaveship Doubted—Experience in slavery written—Danger of Recapture.266

 

CHAPTER IV.

RECOLLECTIONS OF OLD FRIENDS.

Work in Rhode Island—Dorr War—Recollections of old friends—Further labors in Rhode Island and elsewhere in New England.272


CHAPTER V.

ONE HUNDRED CONVENTIONS.

Anti-Slavery Conventions held in parts of New England, and in some of the Middle and Western States—Mobs—Incidents, etc.280


CHAPTER VI.

IMPRESSIONS ABROAD.

Danger to be averted—A refuge sought abroad—Voyage on the steamship Cambria—Refusal of first-class passage—Attractions of the fore-castle deck—Hutchinson family—Invited to make a speech—Southerners feel insulted—Captain threatens to put them in irons—Experiences abroad—Attentions received—Impressions of different members of Parliament, and of other public men—Contrast with life in America—Kindness of friends—Their purchase of my person, and the gift of the same to myself—My return.289


CHAPTER VII.

TRIUMPHS AND TRIALS.

New Experiences—Painful Disagreement of Opinion with old Friends—Final Decision to publish my Paper in Rochester—Its Fortunes and its Friends—Change in my own Views Regarding the Constitution of the United States—Fidelity to Conviction—Loss of Old Friends—Support of New Ones—Loss of House, etc., by Fire—Triumphs and Trials—Underground Railroad—Incidents320


CHAPTER VIII.

JOHN BROWN AND MRS. STOWE.

My First Meeting with Capt. John Brown—The Free Soil Movement—Colored Convention—Uncle Tom's Cabin—Industrial School for Colored People—Letter to Mrs. H. B. Stowe.337

 

CHAPTER IX.

INCREASING DEMANDS OF THE SLAVE POWER.

Increased demands of slavery—War in Kansas—John Brown's raid—His capture and execution—My escape to England from United States marshals.360


CHAPTER X.

THE BEGINNING OF THE END.

My connection with John Brown—To and from England—Presidential contest—Election of Abraham Lincoln.383


CHAPTER XI.

SECESSION AND WAR.

Recruiting of the 54th and 55th Colored Regiments—Visit to President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton—Promised a Commission as Adjutant-General to General Thomas—Disappointment.408


CHAPTER XII.

HOPE FOR THE NATION.

Proclamation of emancipation—Its reception in Boston—Objections brought against it—Its effect on the country—Interview with President Lincoln—New York riots—Re-election of Mr. Lincoln—His inauguration, and inaugural—Vice-President Johnson—Presidential reception—The fall of Richmond—Fanueil Hall—The assassination—Condolence.426


CHAPTER XIII.

VAST CHANGES.

Satisfaction and anxiety, new fields of labor opening—Lyceums and colleges soliciting addresses—Literary attractions—Pecuniary gain—Still pleading for human rights—President Andy Johnson—Colored delegation—Their reply to him—National Loyalist Convention, 1866, and its procession—Not wanted—Meeting with an old friend—Joy and surprise—The old master's welcome, and Miss Amanda's friendship—Enfranchisement debated and accomplished—The negro a citizen.453

 

CHAPTER XIV.

LIVING AND LEARNING.

Inducement to a political career—Objections—A newspaper enterprise—The New National Era—Its abandonment—The Freedman's Saving and Trust Company—Sad experience—Vindication.484


CHAPTER XV.

WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE.

The Santo Domingo controversy—Decoration Day at Arlington, 1871—Speech delivered there—National colored convention at New Orleans, 1872—Elector at large for the State of New York—Death of Hon. Henry Wilson.494


CHAPTER XVI.

"TIME MAKES ALL THINGS EVEN."

Return to "old master"—A last interview—Capt. Auld's admission "had I been in your place, I should have done as you did"—Speech at Easton—The old jail there—Invited to a sail on the revenue cutter Guthrie—Hon. John L. Thomas—Visit to the old plantation—Home of Col. Lloyd—Kind reception and attentions—Familiar scenes—Old memories—Burial-ground—Hospitality—Gracious reception from Mrs. Buchanan—A little girl's floral gift—A promise of a "good time coming"—Speech at Harper's Ferry, Decoration day, 1881—Storer College—Hon. A. J Hunter533


CHAPTER XVII.

INCIDENTS AND EVENTS.

Hon. Gerrit Smith and Mr. E. C. Delevan—Experiences at Hotels and on Steamboats and other modes of travel—Hon. Edward Marshall—Grace Greenwood—Hon. Moses Norris—Robert J. Ingersoll—Reflections and conclusions—Compensations.551


CHAPTER XVIII.

"HONOR TO WHOM HONOR."

Grateful recognition—Friends in need—Lucretia Mott—Lydia Maria Child—Sarah and Angelina Grimke—Abby Kelley—H. Beecher Stowe—Other Friends—Woman Suffrage.566

 

RETROSPECTION.

Meeting of colored citizens in Washington to express their sympathy at the great national bereavement, the death of President Garfield—Concluding reflections and conviction. 577


Oration at the unveiling of the Freedmen's monument, at Lincoln Park, Washington, D. C., April 14, 1876—Extract from a speech delivered at Elmira, N. Y., August 1, 1880. 584




THIRD PART.


LATER LIFE.

Again summoned to the defense of his people—The difficulties of the task—The race problem—His life work—The anti-slavery movement. 619


A GRAND OCCASION.

Inauguration of President Garfield—A valuable precedent—An affecting scene—The greed of the office-seekers—Conference with President Garfield—Distrust of the Vice-President. 626


DOUBTS AS TO GARFIELD'S COURSE.

Garfield not a stalwart—Encounter of Garfield with Tucker—Hope in promises of a new departure—The sorrow-stricken nation. 633

 

RECORDER OF DEEDS.

Activity in behalf of his people—Income of the Recorder of Deeds—False impressions as to his wealth—Appeals for assistance—Persistent beggars. 638


PRESIDENT CLEVELAND'S ADMINISTRATION.

Circumstances of Cleveland's election—Political standing of the District of Columbia—Estimate of Cleveland's character—Respect for Mr. Cleveland—Decline for strength in the Republican party—Time of gloom for the colored people—Reason for the defeat of Blaine. 644


THE SUPREME COURT DECISION.

Action of the Supreme Court—Its effects on the colored people—Address at Lincoln Hall. 652


DEFEAT OF JAMES G. BLAINE.

Causes of the Republican defeat—Tariff and free trade—No confidence in the Democratic party. 670


EUROPEAN TOUR.

Revisits Parliament—Changes in Parliament—Recollections of Lord Brougham—Listens to Gladstone—Meeting with old friends. 674


CONTINUATION OF EUROPEAN TOUR.

Through France—Dijon and Lyons—The palace of the Popes—The Amphitheater at Aries—Visits Nice—Pisa and its leaning tower—The Pantheon—Modern Rome—Religion at Rome—Rome of the Past—Vesuvius and Naples—Through the Suez Canal—Life in the East—The Nile—The religion of Mahomet—At the graves of Theodore Parker and Mrs. Browning—The mountains of the Tyrol. 681

 

THE CAMPAIGN OF 1888.

Preference for John Sherman—Speech at the convention—On the stump—The Tariff question. 717


ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT HARRISON.

Appointed minister at Haïti—Unfriendly criticism—Admiral Gherardi. 723


MINISTER TO HAITI.

The Môle St. Nicolas—Social Relations—Sympathy for Haïti—The facts about the Môle St. Nicolas—Conference with the Haïtian Government—Negotiations for the Môle St. Nicolas—Close of the interview. 727


CONTINUED NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE MOLE ST. NICOLAS.

Unfortunate delay—Renewed authority from the United States—Haïti's Refusal—Reasons for the Refusal—The Clyde contract—A dishonest proposition—A strange demand—Haïti's mistake—Bad effect of the Clyde proposition—Final words. 739

 

 
Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1892) p16.png
 

PAGE
1. Portrait of the Author Frontispiece
2. The Last Time he saw his Mother 36
3. Whipping of Old Barney 70
4. Gore shooting Denby 78
5. Mrs. Auld teaching him to read 94
6. Found in the Woods by Sandy 166
7. Driven to Jail for running away 208
8. His Present Home in Washington 242
9. At the Wharf in Newport 254
10. Fighting the Mob in Indiana 284
11. Portrait of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe 334
12. Portrait of William Lloyd Garrison 402
13. Portrait of Wendell Phillips 460
14. Charles Sumner 496
15. Commissioners to Santo Domingo 502
16. Marshal at the Inauguration of Pres. Garfield 520
17. Revisits his Old Home 544
18. Abraham Lincoln 598



This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.