Frederick Douglass was a slave who was transferred to Baltimore, Maryland. When he got there he met the family he was staying with, the Aulds, and just as they looked, they were a cheerful and welcoming bunch. He was surprised how well he was being treated because from what he has dealt with in the past, this was a blessing. Once Douglass was settled in with the Aulds, Mrs. Auld began to teach him how to read and write. He was a very fast learner and was excelling, but when Mr. Auld found out that Douglass was being educated, he wasn’t happy.
He told Mrs. Auld to shut it down immediately, in a very stern, but worried voice. He said it was improper for a slave to learn these kinds of things and if Douglass learned to read and write he would find out the position he is in isn’t right and will stop at nothing to change that. He also explained they could get arrested if you continued to teach him. After Mr. Auld shut the learning down and the monster that was slavery swallowed her whole and Mrs. Auld became very hard on Douglass. Her once graceful voice turned into one of a demon. She made him do all of the chores and other jobs around the house. She did this to try and undo what she’d done, but by being harder on him she only fanned the flames of determination in him.
When Mrs. Auld sent Douglass to run errands, he noticed as he was walking down the bustling streets of Baltimore, a boy in an alleyway playing by himself. As Douglass went up to him, he noticed the boy had a school book with him. Douglass knew just what to do. He greeted the boy and ask him if he would like to trade. Douglass told him that if he gave him lessons he would give the boy bread. Of course, the starving boy agreed. This was the first of Douglass's makeshift teachers and after he turned more of the boys into teachers and learned from them he eventually figured out how to read and write. When he was 20 years old, he escaped and as an adult became an abolitionist and used the gift that he learned to fight for the rights of African Americans and even women's rights.