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Douglass Prism

Frederick Douglass

   This establishment was under the care of two

slaves -- old Barney and young Barney -- father and son.

To attend to this establishment was their sole work.

But it was by no means an easy employment; for in

nothing was Colonel Lloyd more particular than in

the management of his horses. The slightest inat-

tention to these was unpardonable, and was visited

upon those, under whose care they were placed, with

the severest punishment; no excuse could shield

them, if the colonel only suspected any want of

attention to his horses -- a supposition which he fre-

quently indulged, and one which, of course, made

the office of old and young Barney a very trying one.

They never knew when they were safe from punish-

ment. They were frequently whipped when least

deserving, and escaped whipping when most deserv-

ing it. Every thing depended upon the looks of the

horses, and the state of Colonel Lloyd's own mind

when his horses were brought to him for use. If a

horse did not move fast enough, or hold his head

high enough, it was owing to some fault of his keep-

ers. It was painful to stand near the stable-door,

and hear the various complaints against the keepers

when a horse was taken out for use. "This horse has

not had proper attention. He has not been suffi-

ciently rubbed and curried, or he has not been prop-

erly fed; his food was too wet or too dry; he got it

too soon or too late; he was too hot or too cold; he

had too much hay, and not enough of grain; or he

had too much grain, and not enough of hay; instead

of old Barney's attending to the horse, he had very

improperly left it to his son." To all these com-

plaints, no matter how unjust, the slave must answer never a word. Colonel Lloyd could not brook any contradiction from a slave. When he spoke, a

slave must stand, listen, and tremble; and such was literally the case. I have seen Colonel Lloyd make old Barney, a man between fifty and sixty years of

age, uncover his bald head, kneel down upon the cold, damp ground, and receive upon his naked and toil-worn shoulders more than thirty lashes at the time. Colonel Lloyd had three sons -- Edward, Murray, and Daniel, -- and three sons-in-law, Mr. Winder, Mr. Nicholson, and Mr. Lowndes. All of these lived at the Great House Farm, and enjoyed the luxury of whipping the servants when they pleased, from old Barney down to William Wilkes, the coach-driver. I have seen Winder make one of the house-servants stand off from him a suitable distance to be touched with the end of his whip, and at every stroke raise great ridges upon his back.