Aiden McDonaldMr. FreudeEnglish 318 December 2017 The Effect of Masters on Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass provides many readers with an entertaining story of how he grew up as a black slave. Although it is unknown when Frederick Douglass was born, it is believed by many historians that he was born sometime in 1818. Due to his birth being in the midst of slavery, he shares his experience through writing, a talent that was taught by himself, the neighboring children, and Sophia Auld during the time. Being an african-american slave, Frederick Douglass uses the judgement of his masters Captain Anthony, Colonel Lloyd, and Hugh and Sophia Auld to seek motivation to escape to freedom. The first master that Douglass comes into contact with is a man that he refers to as Captain Anthony. Captain Anthony, which is also believed by himself to be his father, is an example of a terrible slaveholder. Douglass describes what ANthony was to him when he states, “Master, however, was not a humane slaveholder. It required extraordinary barbarity on the part of an overseer to affect him. He was a cruel man, hardened by a long life of slaveholding. He would at times seem to take great pleasure in whipping a slave. I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood.”(5) Anthony’s presence leaves Douglass with a sense of anger and or hatred towards the master for the way that they treat the slaves. He mentions the first time he sees this and describes how he felt in the text, ” I remember the first time I ever witnessed this horrible exhibition. I was quite a child, but I well remember it. I never shall forget it whilst I remember anything. It was the first of a long series of such outrages, of which I was doomed to be a witness and a participant. It struck me with awful force.”(6) When Douglass says that he “shall never forget” and “I was doomed to be a witness and participant”, it tells the reader how much of a negative effect this master has on him. But at the same time, the evil way that Anthony treats Douglass makes him want to achieve freedom even more and encourages Douglass to pursue that. By seeing this even, it changes the way he sees slave masters and carries on with him throughout his life and onto the next master. The next master that Frederick Douglass encounters is Colonel Lloyd. In the year 1824, Frederick Douglass moves a few miles down to a different plantation owned by a man known by the name of Colonel Edward Lloyd. He was another unjust slave owner that Douglass came across. For example, Colonel had two slaves that maintained his horses. When something went wrong with the horses he immediately put the blame on the slave and his father, which both took care of the horses and their careidge. Douglass mentions in the autobiography how Lloyd responds to a bad encounter with one of the horse, “To all these complaints, no matter how unjust, the slave must answer never a word…. When he spoke, a slave must stand, listen, and tremble; and such was literally the case. I have seen Colonel Lloyd make old Barney, a man between fifty and sixty years of age, uncover his bald head, kneel down upon the cold, damp ground, and receive upon his naked and toil-worn shoulders more than thirty lashes at the time.” (16) Douglass describes in the story how the slave had nothing to do with the problem yet he was still punished. And if the slave decided to respond, the punishment would be even more severe. This example shows the reader how Frederick Douglass must have felt when himself and other slaves had to go through these types of situations. Lloyd provides a similar effect on Frederick Douglass to what Anthony did. It makes him want freedom that much more. After a couple years on the Wye River with Lloyd, he meets Hugh and Sophia Auld. Douglass was lent to Hugh and Sophia Auld by Thomas and Lucretia Auld. He is transported to Baltimore to serve for the couple in a ship building business. The relationship between Douglass and the couple is much different than any master that Douglass has had before. The family was a lot kinder and treated him with more respect and a sense of courtesy. Not long after Douglass arrived, Sophia Auld taught him the alphabet through a series of lessons. Frederick Douglass describes his first impressions to her as, “—a woman of the kindest heart and finest feelings.” and “I was utterly astonished at her goodness. I scarcely knew how to behave towards her. She was entirely unlike any other white woman I had ever seen.”(30) Mr. Auld did not approve the lessons. He says to Mrs. Auld, “that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read.” (31) But this did not stop Douglass from learning how to read. From that moment on, he was determined to learn. Mr. and Mrs. Auld had a positive effect on Douglass because they are the ones who gave him the ambition to seek freedom.` In conclusion, the masters that Frederick Douglass received had a major take on why he escaped slavery and reached freedom. Each master provided a reason for why he should escape whether that be a positive or negative reason. Douglass uses all of the information that he learns from his masters to set a plan to get access the northern states..