Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Friendship Quotes
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When we got about half way to St. Michael's, while the constables having us in charge were looking ahead, Henry inquired of me what he should do with his pass. I told him to eat it with his biscuit, and own nothing; and we passed the word around, "Own nothing;" and "Own nothing!" said we all. Our confidence in each other was unshaken. We were resolved to succeed or fail together, after the calamity had befallen us as much as before. We were now prepared for any thing. (10.36)
When Douglass and his friends first try to escape, Douglass uses his ability to write to forge passes for everyone. But when they are caught, these passes turn into a liability, and they have to destroy them. The only thing that keeps them safe is their confidence in each other and the power of their friendship. Because they can trust each other, they know that no one will give away the plot.
The plan which I adopted, and the one by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted into teachers. With their kindly aid, obtained at different times and in different places, I finally succeeded in learning to read. (7.4)
Douglass has to employ a lot of little tricks to learn how to read, but one of them isn't a trick at all. He discovers that while almost every white adult is his enemy, he can make friends with white children. They don't treat him differently because of his skin color, and they'll gladly share their education with him.