Slavery was perhaps one of the most appalling tragedies in the history of The United States of America. To tell the people of the terrible facts, runaway slaves wrote their accounts of slavery down on paper and published it for the nation to read. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs were just two of the many slaves who did this. Each of the slaves had different experiences with slavery, but they all had one thing in common: they tell of the abominable institution of slavery and how greatly it affected their lives. When Douglass was seven years old, he was sent to a new master and mistress, Hugh and Sophia Auld.
Sophia was a very kind and affectionate woman, probably one of the nicest people Douglass had encountered in his early childhood life. Here's what Douglass had to say about his new mistress: "Her face was made of heavenly smiles and her voice of tranquil music (Douglas 41)." This caused Douglass to view the whites differently than before. His previous owners were cruel and corrupt who often whipped and beat their slaves in agony. But not Mrs. Auld; Douglass was astonished at her kind heart. She treated Douglass and other black slaves like human beings.
She even began to teach him how to read and write. This led Douglass to believe that his own race could be treated like humans instead of savages by the whites and that the white race could have the capabilities of acting like human beings towards the blacks (Douglass 42). But when Sophia's husband discovered about the private lessons, he ordered her to stop. He told her that teaching Douglass to read would ruin him forever as a slave. Hearing this affected Douglass' values of having an education greatly; he became determined to read at all costs.
Reading became everything and was his journey to freedom. This was a very importantfirst step because he both learned of the world around him and the world outside of slavery. It was then that he .