The story of Frederick Douglass's life as told in "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" is powerful testimony to the horrors of slavery and the bravery of one man to rise to become a statesman and advocate for his people (etext found
the process of paying close and continuous attention
Secondly, such a statement would most undoubtedly induce greater
vigilance on the part of slaveholders than has existed heretofore among them; which would, of course, be the means of guarding a door whereby some dear brother bondman might escape his galling chains.
I would allow myself to suffer under the greatest imputations which evil-minded men might suggest, rather than
exculpate myself, and thereby run the hazard of closing the slightest avenue by which a brother slave might clear himself of the chains and fetters of slavery.
I have never approved of the very public manner in which some of our western friends have conducted what they call the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, but which I think, by their open declarations, has been made most
emphatically the UPPERGROUND RAILROAD.
Let him be left to feel his way in the dark; let darkness
commensurate with his crime hover over him; and let him feel that at every step he takes, in pursuit of the flying bondman, he is running the frightful risk of having his hot brains dashed out by an invisible agency.
He told me I could go nowhere but that he could get me; and that, in the event of my running away, he should spare no pains in his efforts to catch me. He
exhorted me to content myself, and be obedient.
something that serves as a means of transportation
But I remained firm, and, according to my resolution, on the third day of September, 1838, I left my chains, and succeeded in reaching New York without the slightest interruption of any kind. How I did so,--what means I adopted,--what direction I travelled, and by what mode of
conveyance,--I must leave unexplained, for the reasons before mentioned.
Mr. Ruggles was then very deeply engaged in the memorable DARG case, as well as attending to a number of other fugitive slaves,
devising ways and means for their successful escape; and, though watched and hemmed in on almost every side, he seemed to be more than a match for his
But when I got to New Bedford, I found it necessary again to change my name. The reason of this necessity was, that there were so many Johnsons in New Bedford, it was already quite difficult to
distinguish between them.
And upon coming to the north, I expected to meet with a rough, hard-handed, and uncultivated population, living in the most Spartan-like simplicity, knowing nothing of the ease, luxury,
pomp, and grandeur of southern slaveholders.
I saw few or no
dilapidated houses, with poverty-stricken inmates; no half-naked children and bare-footed women, such as I had been accustomed to see in Hillsborough, Easton, St. Michael's, and Baltimore.
Its sympathy for my brethren in bonds--its
scathing denunciations of slaveholders--its faithful exposures of slavery--and its powerful attacks upon the upholders of the institution--sent a thrill of joy through my soul, such as I had never felt before!
I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have, in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion, as may possibly lead those
unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion.
Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all
misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels.