Frederick Douglass has been a slave all of his life, having to constantly be under control of slave holders, and even in rain or snow, Frederick had to complete every task directed towards him. After working for his old master Covey, he was hired by Mr. Freeland to work on his plantation in 1835. Now being owned by Mr. Freeland, Frederick was surrounded by grass and crops growing out of the endless fields, and the scent of animal manure filling his nose as slaves in the distance spread it across the field for crops. Around this time, Frederick had already learned to read and write, and wanted more than anything to escape after learning how awful his conditions were. He had also taught as many slaves as he could to read and write, teaching them in a Sabbath School. Now more determined than ever, Frederick had a strong hope for escaping out of slavery, and knew he could do something more with his life than be a slave.
Frederick thought carefully on what his next step was, he wanted to escape along with the other slaves, but he wasn’t sure if they would be willing to escape as he was. Did they think escape would be a waste of time? Did they think it was too dangerous, or that escaping was unnecessary? Frederick went to Henry and John first, they met privately, and Frederick asked, “Have you ever wanted something more than this life we have? Working from sunrise to sundown, no breaks, no freedom, no anything!” “Of course Frederick, we’ve all wanted that, but it’s just too good to be true I believe,” John responded, shaking his head sadly. “Where are you going with this Frederick?” Asked Henry. “What do you say we find a way to escape, I mean you miss all the shots you don’t take! I know it's dangerous, but if we get more people involved, and we find a way, don’t you think it could be possible?” Frederick asked excitedly, his heart beating out of his chest. Henry and John looked at each other, and Henry said with confidence, “He’s right, I think we could try, I’d rather die trying than never try at all.”
The next day, they got the other slaves to join them, and together came up with a plan to finally achieve liberty. First, they wanted to steal a canoe from Mr. Hamilton, rowing fiercely and swiftly across the Chesapeake Bay. Then, they wanted to follow the North Star till out of Maryland, and hoped to be forever free. It was then that Frederick’s reading and writing skills truly took place in his life. During that hot, summer night, Frederick sat down on the flat, hard ground, writing till his hand ached and the ink on the blank paper covered it with Frederick’s messy handwriting. He knew it was dangerous to write these protections, because if Mr. Freeland found them then he’d know Frederick was going to escape. But Frederick was more than determined, and finished them for him and his fellow slaves.