Anthony is Douglass's first master and, Douglass suggests, possibly his father. White fathers of slaves were not prone to love or paternal affection, and Anthony is no exception. He completely ignores Douglass and brutally whips his slaves.
One of the most vivid impressions we get of him is the young Douglass's memory of him beating Douglass's Aunt Hester to within an inch of her life for daring to have relations with another slave. This is one of Douglass's earliest impressions of the life he's about to enter and the first of many instances in which we see white men beating or raping female slaves.