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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Quotes

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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Quotes

Quote 1: "The whisper that my master was my father, may or may not be true; and, true or false, it is of but little consequence to my purpose whilst the fact remains, in all its glaring odiousness, that slaveholders have ordained, and by law established, that the children of slave women shall in all cases follow the condition of their mothers; and this is done too obviously to administer to their own lusts, and make a gratification of their wicked desires profitable as well as pleasurable; for by this cunning arrangement, the slaveholder, in cases not a few, sustains to his slave the double relation of master and father." Chapter 1, pg. 49

Quote 2: "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

Quote 3: "'It is better that a dozen slaves suffer under the lash, than that the overseer should be convicted, in the presence of the slaves, of having been at fault.'" Chapter 4, pg. 65

Quote 4: "it was worth a half-cent to kill a 'nigger,' and a half-cent to bury one." Chapter 4, pg. 69

Quote 5: "From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise." Chapter 5, pg. 75

Quote 6: "But, alas! this kind heart had but a short time to remain such. The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon." Chapter 6, pp. 77-78

Quote 7: "'If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master-to do as he is told to do.'" Chapter 6, pg. 78

Quote 8: "A single word from the white men was enough-against all our wishes, prayers, and entreaties-to sunder forever the dearest friends, dearest kindred, and strongest ties known to human beings." Chapter 8, pg. 90

Quote 9: "Will not a righteous God visit for these things?" Chapter 8, pg. 93

Quote 10: "I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!" Chapter 10, pg. 105

Quote 11: "My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place; and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact. I did not hesitate to let it be known of me, that the white man who expected to succeed in whipping, must also succeed in killing me." Chapter 10, pg. 113

Quote 12: "But, by this time, I began to want to live upon free land as well as with Freeland; and I was no longer content, therefore, to live with him or any other slaveholder." Chapter 10, pg. 122

Quote 13: "He received all the benefits of slaveholding without its evils; while I endured all the evils of a slave, and suffered all the care and anxiety of a freeman." Chapter 11, pg. 140

Quote 14: "Sincerely and earnestly hoping that this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system, and hastening the glad day of deliverance to the millions of my brethren in bonds-faithfully relying upon the power of truth, love, and justice, for success in my humble efforts-and solemnly pledging my self anew to the sacred cause,-I subscribe myself, FREDERICK DOUGLASS." Appendix, pg. 159

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