Frederick Douglass Primary Analysis

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Abolitionism, American Civil War Pages: 4 (1649 words) Published: December 8, 2013
Frederick Douglass represents former slaves who become abolitionists after escaping to the north. Douglass uses ethos to speak out for not only all of the slaves in the south, but also to question the irony of the basic principles of liberty and justice as stated for everyone in the Declaration of Independence, yet not applied to slaves. The sectional crisis in the antebellum era supported Frederick Douglass in his hatred for the cruelties toward blacks, persistence in the abolitionist movement, and the unpatriotic effects slavery has rendered upon the south. As the cotton culture began to grow rapidly, the culture of the slave trade grew with it. Charles Ball shows the audience about the cruelties of the slave trade as he explains his first-hand experience on the horrible journey after being shipped off, against his will, to South Carolina to work for the cotton fields. Ball comments on his misery during the journey as so painful both physically and emotionally that he wished to die but, “…even the wretched privilege of destroying myself was denied me, for I could not shake off my chains, nor move a yard without the consent of my master…”(Ball, 233). The emotional scars of being ripped away from his family and knowing he’s never going to be able to see them again will also haunt Ball and millions of slaves just like him going through the same experience in the horrors of the slave trade. African American Josiah Henson also shares his experience with the slave trade although unfortunately he was very young when he was put through the agony of being sold off as property at a mere age of five or six. Henson explains himself having to witness the cries of his mother as she is being separated from her children, begging to be able to be bought by the same owner. He not only ignored her cries but instead violently kicked her until she finally crawled away. This was not the first time Henson experienced something so traumatizing at such a young age; he also witnessed...
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