Chapter 3 Notes from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Chapter 3

Colonel Lloyd is famed for having a garden with the most luscious fruits. Many slaves on the plantation, especially the kids, get the whip for stealing the delectable fruits. To prevent theft, tar is put all around the fence and any slave found with it is severely punished. The slaves come to fear tar as much as a lashing. Colonel Lloyd is also famous for his stable of horses. Two slaves, Old and Young Barney, are given the difficult task of maintaining them. Colonel Lloyd is known to whip old and young Barney for any reason, whether justified or not. His three sons and his three sons-in-law all engage in the practice of punishing any slave they like for whatever reason they like.

Colonel Lloyd owns so many slaves that he does not know them all and they do not all know him. It is reported that one day as Colonel Lloyd is traveling, he meets a slave and asks him to whom he belongs. When the slave replies that he belongs to Colonel Lloyd, he asks the slave if his master treats him well. The slave, not knowing that he's speaking to his master, replies that he is not. Two or three weeks later, the unfortunate slave is taken away from family and friends and sold to a Georgia trader-for having answered truthfully. For similar reasons, slaves almost always answer positively when asked about their masters. Sometimes, slave masters have spies that report what they hear from their fellow slaves. Douglass admits that as a slave he has never spoken negatively about his masters.

Ironically, slaves are prejudiced, often arguing that their masters are the best. For instance, Colonel Lloyd's slaves would argue with Jacob Jepson's slaves over who has a superior master. These arguments almost always end up in a fight. Somehow, the slaves feel that the characteristics of their masters are transferable to them. Douglass writes, "It was considered as being bad enough to be a slave; but to be a poor man's slave was deemed a disgrace indeed!" Chapter 3, pg. 63

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