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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

sensible to my lot, at least partly so. I left Baltimore
with a young heart overborne with sadness, and a
soul full of apprehension. I took passage with Cap-
tain Rowe, in the schooner Wild Cat, and, after a
sail of about twenty-four hours, I found myself near
the place of my birth. I had now been absent from
it almost, if not quite, five years. I, however, re-
membered the place very well. I was only about
five years old when I left it, to go and live with my
old master on Colonel Lloyd's plantation; so that
I was now between ten and eleven years old.

We were all ranked together at the valuation. Men
and women, old and young, married and single, were
ranked with horses, sheep, and swine. There were
horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and chil-
dren, all holding the same rank in the scale of being,
and were all subjected to the same narrow examina-
tion. Silvery-headed age and sprightly youth, maids
and matrons, had to undergo the same indelicate
inspection. At this moment, I saw more clearly than
ever the brutalizing effects of slavery upon both
slave and slaveholder.

After the valuation, then came the division. I have
no language to express the high excitement and deep
anxiety which were felt among us poor slaves during
this time. Our fate for life was now to be decided.
we had no more voice in that decision than the
brutes among whom we were ranked. 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. In addition to the pain of
separation, there was the horrid dread of falling into
the hands of Master Andrew. He was known to us
all as being a most cruel wretch,--a common drunk-
ard, who had, by his reckless mismanagement and
profligate dissipation, already wasted a large por-
tion of his father's property. We all felt that we
might as well be sold at once to the Georgia traders,
as to pass into his hands; for we knew that that
would be our inevitable condition,--a condition held
by us all in the utmost horror and dread.
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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