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


expenses about six dollars per week. This amount
I was compelled to make up, or relinquish the
privilege of hiring my time. Rain or shine, work or
no work, at the end of each week the money must
be forthcoming, or I must give up my privilege. This
arrangement, it will be perceived, was decidedly in
my master's favor. It relieved him of all need of
looking after me. His money was sure. 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. I found it a
hard bargain. But, hard as it was, I thought it better
than the old mode of getting along. It was a step
towards freedom to be allowed to bear the respon-
sibilities of a freeman, and I was determined to hold
on upon it. I bent myself to the work of making
money. I was ready to work at night as well as day,
and by the most untiring perseverance and industry,
I made enough to meet my expenses, and lay up
a little money every week. I went on thus from May
till August. Master Hugh then refused to allow me
to hire my time longer. The ground for his refusal
was a failure on my part, one Saturday night, to pay
him for my week's time. This failure was occasioned
by my attending a camp meeting about ten miles
from Baltimore. During the week, I had entered
into an engagement with a number of young friends
to start from Baltimore to the camp ground early
Saturday evening; and being detained by my em-
ployer, I was unable to get down to Master Hugh's
without disappointing the company. I knew that
Master Hugh was in no special need of the money
that night. I therefore decided to go to camp meet-
ing, and upon my return pay him the three dollars.

I staid at the camp meeting one day longer than I
intended when I left. But as soon as I returned, I
called upon him to pay him what he considered his
due. I found him very angry; he could scarce restrain
his wrath. He said he had a great mind to give me a
severe whipping. He wished to know how I dared
go out of the city without asking his permission. I
told him I hired my time and while I paid him the
price which he asked for it, I did not know that I
was bound to ask him when and where I should go.
This reply troubled him; and, after reflecting a few
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass



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