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  • Frederick Douglass moved to a new plantation in Baltimore. The Mistress on the plantation was a pleasant young lady who had a voice of harmony. She was willing to help Douglass with anything he needed. When Douglass first moved to Baltimore, Douglass was not treated like a slave at all. He was given a place to sleep, food to eat, and the spark of hope from deep inside his heart. Douglass was never forced to do anything against his own will. Eventually he began to believe that his life could not get any better.  Until one day, Mrs. Auld offered to purchase a book for him. Douglass confessed that he didn’t know how to read. That night Mrs. Auld began to teach Douglass to read. He didn’t understand at first but, after the first couple of weeks, he began to learn basic words.
  • One day as Douglass was reading a book with Mrs. Auld, Mr. Auld heard Douglass talking. He went into the room to see what was happening. Mr. Auld was shocked. Douglass was reading to Mrs. Auld. He ran over to the book and yanked it out of Douglass’s hand. “This is a slave, not a friend.” That was the moment Mrs. Auld morphed into a monster. “ Frederick go and put the cows in the pen.” Douglass gets up from his chair and sprints out to the pasture. “Quicker Frederick, that’s not quick enough.” Douglass was worked hard and beaten harder day after day yet deep in his heart he still had the passion to learn to read. One cool fall evening, as Douglass was chopping wood, he jumps the fence and runs 6 miles into Baltimore. He meets some children coming home from school carrying a stack of books each. He stops them in their tracks and asks to borrow one of their books. The kids wonder why he would ever want to do school work. Douglass says, that he would give them a loaf of bread for one book. The kids were so excited.
  • That night Douglass made it home with two books. He sat in a corner of the shed and began to sound out words little by little.Douglass was reading until the sun rose. When he heard Mr. Aulds horse coming he shoved the book under some hay and went to the fields to start his work. For weeks as soon as Douglass was done with his chores he would run to the shed to read. Slowly but surely, Douglass got better and better. Soon he began to read entire books in one day. Douglass now had the privilage of reading.
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