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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
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My master's family consisted of two sons, Andrew and Richard; one daughter, Lucretia,
and her husband, Captain Thomas Auld. They lived in one house, upon the home
plantation of Colonel Edward Lloyd. My master was Colonel Lloyd's clerk and
superintendent. He was what might be called the overseer of the overseers. I spent two
years of childhood on this plantation in my old master's family. It was here that I
witnessed the bloody transaction recorded in the first chapter; and as I received my first
impressions of slavery on this plantation, I will give some description of it, and of slavery
as it there existed. The plantation is about twelve miles north of Easton, in Talbot county,
and is situated on the border of Miles River. The principal products raised upon it were
tobacco, corn, and wheat. These were raised in great abundance; so that, with the
products of this and the other farms belonging to him, he was able to keep in almost
constant employment a large sloop, in carrying them to market at Baltimore. This sloop
was named Sally Lloyd, in honor of one of the colonel's daughters. My master's son-in-
law, Captain Auld, was master of the vessel; she was otherwise manned by the colonel's
own slaves. Their names were Peter, Isaac, Rich, and Jake. These were esteemed very
highly by the other slaves, and looked upon as the privileged ones of the plantation; for it
was no small affair, in the eyes of the slaves, to be allowed to see Baltimore.
Colonel Lloyd kept from three to four hundred slaves on his home plantation, and
owned a large number more on the neighboring farms belonging to him. The names of
the farms nearest to the home plantation were Wye Town and New Design. "Wye Town"
was under the overseership of a man named Noah Willis. New Design was under the
overseership of a Mr. Townsend. The overseers of these, and all the rest of the farms,
numbering over twenty, received advice and direction from the managers of the home
plantation. This was the great business place. It was the seat of government for the whole
twenty farms. All disputes among the overseers were settled here. If a slave was
convicted of any high misdemeanor, became unmanageable, or evinced a determination
to run away, he was brought immediately here, severely whipped, put on board the sloop,
carried to Baltimore, and sold to Austin Woolfolk, or some other slave-trader, as a
warning to the slaves remaining.
Here, too, the slaves of all the other farms received their monthly allowance of food, and
their yearly clothing. The men and women slaves received, as their monthly allowance of
food, eight pounds of pork, or its equivalent in fish, and one bushel of corn meal. Their
yearly clothing consisted of two coarse linen shirts, one pair of linen trousers, like the
shirts, one jacket, one pair of trousers for winter, made of coarse negro cloth, one pair of
stockings, and one pair of shoes; the whole of which could not have cost more than seven
dollars. The allowance of the slave children was given to their mothers, or the old women
having the care of them. The children unable to work in the field had neither shoes,
stockings, jackets, nor trousers, given to them; their clothing consisted of two coarse
linen shirts per year. When these failed them, they went naked until the next allowance-