Slavery Debates

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements



Assignment # 4: Slavery Debates 1 (Graded DF # 1)

(2-3 paragraphs) In his Narrative, Frederick Douglass wrote that slavery proved as injurious to slaveholders as it was to slaves. Why do you think Douglass made this claim? Provide specific examples to discuss how he supported it. (Think about Douglass’s ultimate goal in writing this Narrative. How would proving this claim help him reach his goal?)

This is a simple discussion forum, just write a few paragraphs separate to the essay. Please also cite the source.

This focus on Frederick Douglass which is source one only!)


Assignment # 5: Slavery Debates 2 (Short Essay 2)

Frederick Douglass’s Narrative in light of Fitzhugh

Based on evidence from his Narrative, discuss how Frederick Douglass would have responded to the following claims by George Fitzhugh.

Your answer should:

  • Introduce both authors
  • Contextualize their ideas by incorporating what you have learned in Week 1 of the course and in the steps leading up to this assignment
  • Provide specific examples from Douglass’s work to back up your claims
  • Be 2-3 paragraphs in length.


“The negro slaves of the South are the happiest, and in some sense, the freest people in the world. The children and the aged and infirm work not at all, and yet have all the comforts and necessaries of life provided for them. They enjoy liberty, because they are oppressed neither by care or labor. The women do little hard work, and are protected from the despotism of their husbands by their masters. The negro men and stout boys work, on the average, in good weather, no more than nine hours a day. The balance of their time is spent in perfect abandon. Besides, they have their Sabbaths and holidays. White men, with so much of license and abandon, would die of ennui; but negroes luxuriate in corporeal and mental repose. With their faces upturned to the sun, they can sleep at any hour; and quiet sleep is the gretest of human enjoyments. “Blessed be the man who invented sleep.”  ‘Tis happiness in itself-and results from contentment in the present, and confident assurance of the future. We do not know whether free laborers ever sleep. They are fools to do so; for, whilst they sleep, the wily and watchful capitalist is devising means to ensnare and exploit them. The free laborer must work or starve. He is more of a slave than the negro, because he works longer and harder for less allowance than the slave, and has no holiday, because the cares of life with him begin when its labors end. He has no liberty and not a single right. . . . “

George Fitzhugh, The Blessings of Slavery, (1857)


Frederick Douglass

John R. McKivigan, “Introduction: Rediscovering the Life and Times of Frederick Douglass” (pp. 4-11)–(PDF)

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

George Fitzhugh

George Fitzhugh Summary

George Fitzhugh, “The Blessings of Slavery”—(PDF)

George Fitzhugh, “The Universal Law of Slavery” chapters

CH 6

CH 27

CH 28