Gender Specific Slavery During The Period Of The Civil War

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Wilhelm 1 Christian Wilhelm Professor Pinney ENGL 2655/3655 28 December 2014 Gender-Specific Slavery During the period of the Civil War, chattel slavery was very prominent in the United States in the 19th century. Being treated more as personal property as opposed to an actual human being, some slaves managed to rebel and write down their account of white slave owners’ dehumanization of black slaves. In social reformer and writer Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave he writes of rebelling against his physically abusive owners and triumphantly gaining freedom. In writer Harriet Ann Jacobs narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Jacobs writes of rebelling against her sexually abusive…show more content…
He then writes of the time at which he was seven years old where he was sold to work for a white family. It was here that he slowly and painstakingly taught himself the rudiments of reading and writing. It was here that Douglass learned that the lack of slaves’ education keeps them ignorant and therefore easier to control. Douglass then writes of a major turning point in his life where his owner sent him to do field work with an abusive plantation owner who mentally and physically dehumanized him, “I was somewhat unmanageable when I first went there, but a few months of this discipline tamed me. Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking me. I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!” (Douglass 918). Here, Douglass is describing that he is going through such relentless abuse that his human qualities are practically being beaten out of him, becoming more of a creature in nature. Douglass then writes of how he finally rebelled against the slave holder and they started fighting, after the slave holder runs off, so does Douglass, who vows to never be whipped again. Douglass then writes of his freedom from torment and how triumphant he feels for
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