Print Frederick Douglass Reading Comprehension with Fourth Grade Work
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Print Frederick Douglass Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 5
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||disrespectful, birth, recruit, cruelty, seaman, slavery, organization, intent, depression, submissive, shortly, opening, totally, focus, impressed, traces
||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
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.
5 Frederick worked on the farm for two years. Finally, the chance for escape came. Frederick met and fell in love with a lady named Anna Murray. Anna sold her own bed to raise enough money to buy falsified papers for Frederick. These papers stated that he was a free black seaman. He escaped to a small town where he boarded a train dressed as a sailor. He caught a ferry boat at Havre de Grace and crossed the Susquehanna River. There he caught another train to Wilmington, Delaware. He got on a steamboat to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Another train took him to New York City where his flight to freedom ended. The whole trip had taken twenty-four hours.
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