Black and white illustration of Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

by Frederick Douglass

Start Free Trial

Why did Frederick Douglass go to Baltimore?

Quick answer:

Frederick Douglass went to Baltimore to live with Hugh Auld, the brother of his old master's son-in-law, Captain Thomas Auld.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When he's about seven or eight years old, young Frederick Douglass receives the news that he's to leave Colonel Lloyd's plantation. He will go to Baltimore, where he will live with Hugh Auld, the brother of his old master's son-in-law, Captain Thomas Auld.

Frederick receives the news at short notice, just three days before his departure. On hearing the news, he's absolutely elated. Those three days prior to his departure are the happiest of his life up to that point, a clear indication of just how glad young Frederick is to be leaving the Lloyd plantation.

Most of those three days are spent getting spruced up, washing off all the plantation scurf that has formed on Frederick's skin. As Frederick candidly admits, this isn't due to pride on his part; it's because Mrs. Lucretia has told him that people in Baltimore are very clean and that they'll laugh at him if he's dirty. She's also given him a pair of trousers which she's determined he won't wear until and unless he's removed all the dirt from his skin.

For the first time in his life, Frederick now has a good incentive to do something: an opportunity to work for a reward. Baltimore beckons, the start of a new chapter in his life.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial