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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
A Nation Divided

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.49

     challenging words:    disrespectful, birth, recruit, cruelty, seaman, slavery, organization, intent, depression, submissive, shortly, opening, totally, focus, impressed, traces
     content words:    Harriet Bailey, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, Anna Murray, Susquehanna River, New York City, New Bedford, New York, Frederick Douglass, Anti-Slavery Society, William Lloyd Garrison

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Frederick Douglass
By Jane Runyon

1     Harriet Bailey gave birth to a baby boy. She named her son Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. He was born in the state of Maryland. The only thing Frederick ever knew about his farther was that he was white. His mother was a slave. Frederick never knew on what day he was born. He thought it was in February. Later in life he chose February 14th as his birthday. He never knew for sure in which year he was born. He told people he was born in 1816. Historians have decided that he was really born in 1818.
2     Harriet Bailey was sold shortly after Frederick's birth. She died when he was seven. He had seen her only a few times in those seven years. Frederick was raised by his grandparents and an aunt. He never knew for sure who his father was. He grew up watching slaves being beaten and starved.
3     Frederick was eight when his owner died. He was sent to live with the owner's brother in Baltimore. He was to learn ship carpentry. He was fortunate. He learned more than that. His new master's wife taught him the alphabet and a little reading. She was breaking a law of the time, but she didn't care. Frederick later gave this brave lady credit for opening up the gates for his later success.
4     Unfortunately for Frederick, life was to change for him again. When he was fifteen, he was sent to work on a farm. The man who owned the farm was known for his cruelty to his slaves. Frederick was beaten daily and kept hungry. It was the man's intent to break his slaves of any spirit. That was his way of keeping them working and submissive.

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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
             Black History and Blacks in U.S. History

A Nation Divided

             A Nation Divided

United States
             United States

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