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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


few men would at times appear more devotional
than he. The exercises of his family devotions were
always commenced with singing; and, as he was a
very poor singer himself, the duty of raising the
hymn generally came upon me. He would read his
hymn, and nod at me to commence. I would at
times do so; at others, I would not. My non-com-
pliance would almost always produce much confu-
sion. To show himself independent of me, he would
start and stagger through with his hymn in the most
discordant manner. In this state of mind, he prayed
with more than ordinary spirit. Poor man! such was
his disposition, and success at deceiving, I do verily
believe that he sometimes deceived himself into the
solemn belief, that he was a sincere worshipper of
the most high God; and this, too, at a time when
he may be said to have been guilty of compelling
his woman slave to commit the sin of adultery. The
facts in the case are these: Mr. Covey was a poor
man; he was just commencing in life; he was only
able to buy one slave; and, shocking as is the fact,
he bought her, as he said, for A BREEDER. This woman
was named Caroline. Mr. Covey bought her from
Mr. Thomas Lowe, about six miles from St. Mi-
chael's. She was a large, able-bodied woman, about
twenty years old. She had already given birth to one
child, which proved her to be just what he wanted.

After buying her, he hired a married man of Mr.
Samuel Harrison, to live with him one year; and him
he used to fasten up with her every night! The re-
sult was, that, at the end of the year, the miserable
woman gave birth to twins. At this result Mr. Covey
seemed to be highly pleased, both with the man and
the wretched woman. Such was his joy, and that of
his wife, that nothing they could do for Caroline
during her confinement was too good, or too hard,
to be done. The children were regarded as being
quite an addition to his wealth.

If at any one time of my life more than another,
I was made to drink the bitterest dregs of slavery,
that time was during the first six months of my stay
with Mr. Covey. We were worked in all weathers.
It was never too hot or too cold; it could never rain,
blow, hail, or snow, too hard for us to work in the
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass



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