Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship

By Russell Freedman

From the writer of Lincoln: A Photobiography, comes a clear-sighted, rigorously researched account of 2 strangely parallel lives and the way they intersected at a severe second in U.S. heritage. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass have been either self-taught, either nice readers and believers within the significance of literacy, either males born negative who via their very own efforts reached positions of energy and prominence—Lincoln as president of the U.S. and Douglass because the most famed and influential African American of his time. although their conferences have been few and short, their alternate of principles helped to finish the Civil conflict, reunite the state, and abolish slavery. comprises bibliography, resource notes, and index.

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Covey gave me a really critical whipping. ” Frederick lived with Covey for a 12 months. With different slaves he worked within the fields from sunrise to nightfall. “We have been labored in all weathers. It used to be by no means too scorching or too chilly; it may by no means rain, blow, hail, or snow too not easy for us to paintings within the box. ” Frederick’s loss of event dealing with workhorses and farm instruments infuriated Covey, who whipped the boy frequently. On Sundays, whilst the slaves weren't required to paintings, he may spend his rest time “in a type of beast-like stupor among sleep and wake, lower than a few huge tree.... i used to be occasionally caused to take my existence, and that of Covey, yet was once avoided via a mix of wish and worry. ” He could stroll to the shore of close by Chesapeake Bay and watch “with saddened center and tearful eye” the white sails relocating towards the sea past and need that he have been on a type of ships, heading for freedom: “O that I have been loose. i'm going to run away. i can't stand it.... It can't be that I shall stay and die a slave. i'll take to the water. The bay shall endure me into freedom. ” After a number of months Frederick, now a strapping sixteen-year-old, discovered the braveness to face as much as Covey and his bloody cowhide lash. One morning, while Covey used to be approximately to whip him back, “I resolved to struggle, and ... I seized Covey demanding via the throat.... He hung on to me, and that i to him. My resistance was once so completely unforeseen, that Covey appeared taken all aback. He trembled like a leaf. ” They grappled and struggled and fell to the floor. “Covey at size permit me move, puffing and blowing at a superb cost, asserting that if I had now not resisted, he shouldn't have whipped me in any respect. ” From that point on, Covey by no means tried to put a finger on Frederick. He may have requested the sheriff to haul Frederick to the general public whipping publish and whip him for elevating a hand opposed to a white guy. yet he didn’t. “The in basic terms rationalization i will be able to imagine of,” Douglass wrote years later, “[is that] Mr. Covey loved the main unbounded attractiveness for being a main overseer and negro-breaker.... That recognition used to be at stake; and had he despatched me—a boy approximately 16 years old—to the general public whipping put up, his acceptance might were misplaced, so, to save lots of his acceptance, he suffered me to move unpunished. ” while Frederick’s 12 months with Covey used to be up, the younger slave used to be employed out to a neighboring planter named William Freeland. “My therapy, whereas in his employment, was once heavenly in comparison with what I skilled on the hand of Mr. Edward Covey.... I went via [the 12 months] with no receiving a unmarried blow. ” And but Frederick discovered that the higher his therapy, the extra he felt the injustice of his servitude, and the higher his craving for freedom. He resolved that prior to one other 12 months handed, he may try and break out. He met secretly with 5 fellow slaves who agreed to hitch jointly in a flight to freedom. Their plan was once to flee by means of water aboard a wide canoe belonging to 1 in their masters. once they reached the top of Chesapeake Bay, approximately 80 miles away, they might solid the canoe adrift and proceed touring north through land, guided by way of the North big name.

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