Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Frederick Douglass on Slavery

Frederick Douglass

"If at any one time of my life more than another, I was made to drink the bitterest dregs of slavery, that time was during the first six months of my stay with Mr. Covey. We were worked in all weathers. It was never too hot or too cold; it could never rain, blow, hail, or snow, too hard for us to work in the field. Work, work, work, was scarcely more the order of the day than of the night. The longest days were too short for him, and the shortest nights too long for him. I was somewhat unmanageable when I first went there, but a few months of this discipline tamed me. Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking me. I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!" -- Frederick Douglass, 1845


Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, (Boston: Anti-Slavery Office, 1845); reprint, edited with an introduction by David W. Blight (Boston: Bedford Books, 1993), 74.

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