Mrs. Sophia Auld was unlike any white person Douglass had met before because she had "the kindest heart and finest feelings." She had never owned a slave, and, prior to her marriage, she was an industrious weaver. But her personality soon changed. At first, Mrs. Auld taught Douglass how to read, but Mr. Auld admonished her and explained, "Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world . . . if you teach that nigger . . . how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave." Slaves in the cities were generally treated better than those on plantations. Douglass was better fed and clothed in Baltimore than he had ever been. There were also community standards regarding how slaves should be treated: "Few are willing to incur the odium attaching the reputation of being a cruel master. . . . Every city slave-holder is anxious to have it known of him, that he feeds his slaves
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