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Douglass watched her 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.