In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau evaluates the federal government critically, contending that it is an artificial institution created by the powerful while acknowledging that it is believed to serve a purpose and is likely to remain a feature of American life. One of the factors that influenced Thoreau to consider civil disobedience as a method of resistance was the poor treatment of Mexico by the United States. In fact, the practice of slavery in the United States is the single most hypocritical aspect of the government as far as Thoreau is concerned.
Chapters 1—4[ edit ] Douglass begins by explaining that he does not know the date of his birth he later chose February 14,and that his mother died when he was 7 years old. He has very few memories of her children were commonly separated from their mothersonly of the rare night time visit.
He thinks his father is a white man, possibly his owner. At a very early age he sees his Aunt Hester being whipped. Douglass details the cruel interaction that occurs between slaves and slave holders, as well as how slaves are supposed to behave in the presence of their masters, and even when Douglass says that fear is what kept many slaves where they were, when they tell the truth they are punished by their owners.
Chapters 5—7[ edit ] Frontispiece of Douglass from the first edition At this point in the Narrative, Douglass is moved to BaltimoreMaryland.
This move is rather important for him because he believes that if he had not been moved, he would have remained a slave his entire life.
He even starts to have hope for a better life in the future. He also discusses his new mistress, Mrs. Sophia Auld, who begins as a very kind woman but eventually turns cruel.
Douglass learns the alphabet and how to spell small words from this woman, but her husband, Mr. Auld, disapproves, and states that if slaves could read, they would not be fit to be slaves, being unmanageable and sad.
Upon hearing why Mr. Auld disapproves of slaves being taught how to read, Douglass realizes the importance of reading and the possibilities that this skill could help him. He takes it upon himself to learn how to read and learn all he can, but at times, this new found skill torments him.
Douglass then gains an understanding of the word abolition and develops the idea to run away to the North.
He also learns how to write and how to read well. The slaves are valued along with the livestockcausing Douglass to develop a new hatred of slavery. He feels lucky when he is sent back to Baltimore to live with the family of Master Hugh.
He is then moved through a few more situations before he is sent to St. His regret at not having attempted to run away is evident, but on his voyage he makes a mental note that he traveled in the North-Easterly direction and considers this information to be of extreme importance.
For some time, he lives with Master Thomas Auld who is particularly cruel, even after attending a Methodist camp. He is pleased when he eventually is lent to Mr. Covey for a year, simply because he would be fed. Covey is known as a "negro-breaker", who breaks the will of slaves.
Chapters 10—11[ edit ] While under the control of Mr. He is harshly whipped almost on a weekly basis, apparently due to his awkwardness. He is worked and beaten to exhaustion, which finally causes him to collapse one day while working in the fields.
Because of this, he is brutally beaten once more by Covey.
Douglass eventually complains to Thomas Auld, who subsequently sends him back to Covey. A few days later, Covey attempts to tie up Douglass, but he fights back. After a two-hour long physical battle, Douglass ultimately conquers Covey.
After this fight, he is never beaten again. Douglass is not punished by the law, which is believed to be due to the fact that Covey cherishes his reputation as a "negro-breaker", which would be jeopardized if others knew what happened.
Douglass comments on the abuse suffered under Covey, a religious man, and the relative peace under the more favorable, but more secular, Freeman. Douglass and a small group of slaves make a plan to escape, but before doing so, they are caught and Douglass is put in jail.
Following his release 2 years later, he is sent to Baltimore once more, but this time to learn a trade. He becomes an apprentice in a shipyard under Mr. Gardener where he is disliked by several white apprentices due to his slave status and race; at one point he gets into a fight with them and they nearly gouge out his left eye.
Woefully beaten, Douglass goes to Master Hugh, who is kind regarding this situation and refuses to let Douglass return to the shipyard.In addition to our online resources, there are many research tools available in the library's reading room.
On-site users can access digitized primary source documents from the New-York Historical Society in Gateway to North America: The People Places, & Organizations of 19th Century New York and digitized Revolutionary War Orderly Books. The emotional appeals throughout the entire passage are strengthed by the third paragraph, and the reader understands how the cruelty and wickedness of slave life could destroy so many man and women who wanted nothing more than to be free and equal.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is an memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass during his time in Lynn, Massachusetts.
It is generally held to be the most famous of a number of narratives written by . Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker.
He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the practice of slavery. There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale of being, and were all subjected to the same narrow examination.
Silvery-headed age and sprightly youth, maids and matrons, had to undergo the same indelicate inspection. Jamaican political leader, who was a staunch proponent of the Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, founder the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), founder of the Black Star Line, which promoted the .