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Whipping of Aunt Hester

Frederick Douglass

Aunt Hester had not only disobeyed his orders in

going out, but had been found in company with

Lloyd's Ned; which circumstance, I found, from

what he said while whipping her, was the chief of-

fence. Had he been a man of pure morals himself,

he might have been thought interested in protecting

the innocence of my aunt; but those who knew him

will not suspect him of any such virtue. Before

he commenced whipping Aunt Hester, he took her

into the kitchen, and stripped her from neck to waist,

leaving her neck, shoulders, and back, entirely

naked. He then told her to cross her hands, calling

her at the same time a d -- -d b -- -h. After crossing

her hands, he tied them with a strong rope, and led

her to a stool under a large hook in the joist, put

in for the purpose. He made her get upon the stool,

and tied her hands to the hook. She now stood fair

for his infernal purpose. Her arms were stretched

up at their full length, so that she stood upon the

ends of her toes. He then said to her, "Now, you

d -- -d b -- -h, I'll learn you how to disobey my

orders!" and after rolling up his sleeves, he com-

menced to lay on the heavy cowskin, and soon the

warm, red blood (amid heart-rending shrieks from

her, and horrid oaths from him) came dripping to

the floor. I was so terrified and horror-stricken at the

sight, that I hid myself in a closet, and dared not

venture out till long after the bloody transaction was

over. I expected it would be my turn next. It was

all new to me. I had never seen any thing like it

before. I had always lived with my grandmother on

the outskirts of the plantation, where she was put to

raise the children of the younger women. I had there-

fore been, until now, out of the way of the bloody

scenes that often occurred on the plantation.