Frederick Douglass was sent from Mr. Aluds house in the busy city of Baltimore to his brother Thomas Aulds’ house out in the country. Due to Frederick Douglass’s desire to read and his knowledge of the ever growing abolitionist movement he became a very impudent and defiant slave. To remedy this Thomas sent Frederick Douglass to a slave owner named Mr. Covey to stay for a year. Mr. Covey was a slave owner hardened by many years of being a slave master, he was also well known as a slave breaker. For the first time in his life Frederick Douglass would work in the fields come rain, hail, heat, or snow.
Upon his arrival to Mr. Covey's plantation Frederick Douglass worked as hard as he could manage day in and day out and was regularly whipped. Mr. Covey was one of the few slave owners that worked alongside his slaves. If Mr. Covey could do the work then he thought that the slave could too. The slaves thought Mr. Covey was a strange master, he would sneak up behind them and scare them whenever the slaves would stop working. He seemed to be behind every fallen tree, every rock, every wall, and in every field. This gifted him the nickname “the snake”.
Frederick Douglass worked continuously and tirelessly from dawn to dusk and later. One day when Frederick Douglass was fanning wheat on a scorching hot day, as the day went on he got more fatigued and eventually fell to the ground and refused to work. Mr. Covey was soon aware of this and commanded Frederick Douglass to get up and continue working. When Frederick Douglass failed to do so Mr. Covey gave him a sharp kick in the side and instructed him to keep working. As Frederick Douglass tried to get up he fell back down to the hard dirt floor. Frederick had given up and let Mr.Covey do his worst. With a kick and whip to the head Covey left Frederick with a swollen bloody head. After Frederick Douglass regained some strength the next day he ran to Thomas’s house to ask if he could leave Mr. Covey's farm. Thomas refused and sent Frederick Douglass back to Coveys. As Frederick Douglass was returning Mr. Covey saw him jump the fence and chased Frederick with a whip into the cornfield. As the night went on Mr. Covey stopped the chase and Frederick Douglass wandered off into the woods.