Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

what were the circumstances of douglass's life in childhood? what was his relationship to his siblings?


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As Douglass was a child on Lloyd's farm, he did not have much to do and in fact had a lot of leisure time. His scant duties included driving up the cows at evening, keeping the fowls out of the garden, and running errands for Lucretia Auld. He was a favorite of Master Daniel Lloyd and was thus often protected from bullying from older children.

Douglass did not suffer whippings very often, but experienced privation in the form of hunger and cold. In both winter and summer he was nearly naked; he wore only a "coarse tow linen shirt" and would have died of cold unless he did not find an old sack to sleep in at night. As for food, the slaves at the plantation did not receive regular allowances, mostly eating coarse corn meal boiled into mush. The children fought over the mush to try and get as much as they could.