Back in the 1800s, there was a slave named Frederick Douglass. He was forced to work just like many other enslaved African Americans. He lived on a large plantation in Maryland that grew tobacco and other crops. He got no pay and had to work in very poor conditions. The person who oversaw it all was Mr. Covey. He was very cruel to all the slaves no matter how hard they worked. Covey always made sure that the slaves were busy from sun up to sun down. If he caught them not working he would whip them over and over until they learned their lesson. He gave them food but they never had enough time to eat it. Covey never treated them well and was very selfish and rude.
One steaming hot afternoon Frederick was working his hardest. He had been picking tobacco all day. He hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch because all his time was taken up by work. He was very tired and felt faint. Then he fell to the ground. Covey immediately came over. “What’s the matter Frederick.” Asked Covey. Frederick didn’t answer because he was too weak. Covey then kicked his side and whipped him. Frederick was too weak to even move. When he felt a little better, he went to Mr. Auld, his master and Mr. Auld just sent him back. As Frederick came back to the plantation he spotted Covey with his whip. He was frightened so he hid in the corn fields. Covey kept looking all over for him but Frederick didn’t want to see him. He feared being whipped so he stayed hidden. While hiding he had to decide if he should stay outside and not eat dinner or go inside and face Covey. It was a very hard decision to make because either way, he would be unhappy.
That same night, Frederick had met a man named Sandy Jenkins. He was a former slave who had lived about 4 miles from Mr. Covey’s plantation. He had a wife and was on the way to see her. “I’m hiding from my overseer.” Frederick explained. “Would you like to come home with me?” Sandy asked. At Sandy’s house, he gave Frederick some good advice. He told him that he should go back to Covey the next morning but first he should follow him to another part of the woods for a magical treat.