Douglass tells about how he was treated at Colonel Lloyd’s, which was fairly well. His only job was to drive up the cows and keep the ducks out of the garden, and then keep the front yard clean. He was about eight years old, not big enough for really hard work. He was also a helper to Colonel Lloyd’s young son, Master Daniel. He would go hunting with him and fetch the ducks Master Daniel shot down. Master Daniel would protect Frederick from the older boys and would give him cakes to eat.
Like other slave children, Frederick didn’t have much clothing: No shoes, no pants, no jacket, only a linen shirt that reached down to his knees. Sometimes he was so cold at night that he would steal a corn bag and crawl in head first with his feet sticking out. And that’s how he would sleep. His feet got so cold that they would crack in places. As a man, the cracks in his feet were still there and so deep and wide that he could lay a pen in them. For food, he ate mush which was poured into a trough. The slaves were called like so many pigs to come and eat. They would scoop up the mush with shells or shingles or use their hands. No one had a spoon. The strong ones ate most, but no one went away satisfied.
After a few years at the Great House Farm, Frederick was told he was leaving for Baltimore in three days. He was going to live at the home of Mr. Hugh Auld (brother to the Old Master’s son in law, Captain Thomas Auld). Those days were the happiest days he could remember. He spent all three days down at the river trying to scrub the dirt and mange from his body because he was told, “The folks in Baltimore are very clean and they will laugh at you.” The mistress also said she would give him a pair of trousers as a reward. This was the first time he worked for a reward and he worked hard. He was so excited about getting those trousers.
He felt indifferent about leaving the Great House Farm. His mother had died. His Grandmother lived far away. His brothers and sisters did not feel like family. And he thought, “It can’t be much worse than the life I have ahead of me here, and it might be better.” Frederick had heard many good things about Baltimore from his cousin Tom. Cousin Tom said everything in Baltimore was bigger and better than what they had on the Great House Farm. Whenever Frederick would point to something at the Great House and say, “This is great or that is beautiful,” Cousin Tom would always say, “You should see what they have in Baltimore!” Nothing on the Great House Farm was ever as good as what they had in Baltimore.
Frederick got into the boat on Saturday to leave for Baltimore and sailed first to the city of Annapolis, the capital of Maryland. It was the biggest city Frederick had seen. They sailed on to Baltimore and arrived on Sunday. After herding the sheep that were on board to where they needed to go, Frederick was taken to the home of his new master: Mr. Hugh Auld.
His new master, Mr. Hugh Auld, and his wife Sophia, and their small son, Little Thomas met him at the door. When Frederick saw Mistress Sophia’s face, it was like a ray of sunshine coming into his life. Her face was full of kindness. It was the first white face that Frederick had ever seen that looked kind and loving. It made him feel good about his future there. He was put in charge of minding Little Thomas.