Eventually, Douglass encountered Sandy Jenkins, a fellow slave who believed in the supernatural powers of certain plants. Sandy advised him to carry a certain root on his right side, an act which would make it
liffs Notes on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass © 1996 18 impossible for any white man to harm him. Sandy believed that his own root had always saved him. To humor Sandy rather than argue with him, Douglass followed his instructions. To Douglass' surprise, when he returned to ovey's farm, ovey spoke kindly to him. A few days later, however, ovey pounced on him. This time, Douglass decided to physically resist. In the ensuing fight, Douglass gained the upper hand, and, after nearly two hours of wrestling and struggling, ovey finally gave up. Douglass recalls: "ovey at length let me go, puffing and blowing at a great rate, saying that if I had not resisted, he would not have whipped me half so much. The truth was, that he had not whipped me at all." Douglass thinks that because ovey enjoyed a widespread reputation for being the region's best slave breaker, it provided him with plenty of free labor, and he didn't want to punish Douglass any further because doing so would be an admission of his having lost a physical fight. For the rest of Douglass' stay, ovey didn't touch him again. Douglass recalls: "This battle with Mr. ovey was the turning-point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood. It recalled the departed self-confidence, and inspired me again with a determination to be free." Douglass then discusses why slaveholders allowed slaves to celebrate holidays. If it were not for these days of rest, Douglass reasons, that there would be a multitude of slave insurrections. Holidays, he says, are opportunities for slave owners to encourage slaves to get drunk, and keeping slaves drunk is one way of keeping them servile. Douglass' tenure with ovey ended after a year, and he was hired out to William Freeland in January 1834. Douglass calls Freeland "the best master I ever had, till I bcam my own mastr ." Freeland never hit Douglass, but, more important, he didn't profess religiosity. Douglass tells the reader that religious slave owners are all unparalleled hypocrites, vicious and perverse. Douglass soon grew attached to other slaves with whom he worked, and together they celebrated the Sabbath. Douglass became the Sabbath school instructor to his fellow slaves, a task he enjoyed greatly. In 1835, Douglass began to think seriously about escaping. Together with several other slaves, he planned to steal a canoe and row up hesapeake Bay. He even forged notes stating that they had permission from their owners to travel to Baltimore. This escape attempt failed, however, before it began because another slave betrayed them. The group was arrested, and, to Douglass' surprise, Thomas Auld came to the jail and arranged for Douglass' release. Douglass, however, was considered the ringleader, so there was a general dislike of him in the community. Auld eventually sent him to live with his brother Hugh because
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- The Bible, Candide, Frederick Douglass, Emancipation Proclamation, Test, Nature, The American, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Self-Reliance, Slavery in the United States, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Rights of Man, The Declaration of Independence, Fugitive Slave Act of 1850