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Known for being a consummate "slave-breaker," Covey was a poor man and a farm renter. Thomas Auld sent Douglass to him in order to avail him of his insolence. Covey was a hard worker and was thus intensely critical of his slaves; he spied on them and tolerated no laziness or perceived autonomy. He professed to be religious, but was a hypocrite and a blasphemer. Douglass was never more broken and despairing than while at Covey's farm, but eventually proved his mettle by fighting back against him and not allowing himself to be whipped.