– Douglass watched Mrs. Auld’s transformation with a heavy heart. When he first came to her, she did not see him as chattel. She treated him like a human being and took care of his basic needs. Her cessation of instructing Douglass was her first step on the road to ruination. She went above and beyond her husband’s request to leave off teaching her slave letters, and soon was most vigilant in making sure Douglass was nowhere near a newspaper. He was watched quite closely, but his own desire to read and write triumphed. Douglass’s plan to learn to read centered on making friends with the poor white children of Baltimore and learning from them a little at a time. He used to complete his errands for Mr. and Mrs. Auld quickly, and then meet up with his new friends. He often used to give them bread (as he was actually better off than most of them) for lessons.
– What became clear to Douglass was that his master was right – learning did make slaves intractable and unmanageable. He came to perceive slaveholders as no more than “a band of successful robbers” who had gone to Africa and stolen them from their homes. He felt discontentment surge through him and often wondered if learning to read had been more of a curse than a blessing. His enslavement tormented him unceasingly.
– I don’t know
– Not to give a slave enough to eat, is regarded as the most aggravated development of meanness even among slaveholders. The rule is, no matter how coarse the food, only let there be enough of it. This is the theory; and in the part of Maryland from which I came, it is the general practice,—though there are many exceptions. Master Thomas gave us enough of neither coarse nor fine food. There were four slaves of us in the kitchen—my sister Eliza, my aunt Priscilla, Henny, and myself; and we were allowed less than a half of a bushel of corn-meal per week, and very little else, either in the shape of meat or vegetables. It was not enough for us to subsist upon.
I hope that after you read these it will help you answer the questions!