The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

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Demby Symbol Icon
Demby is a slave who is killed by Mr. Gore, one of Colonel Lloyd’s overseers. Demby runs away from the brutal whipping he is receiving from Gore and takes refuge in a stream. Gore threatens to shoot Demby if the slave does not leave the stream by the count of three, and when Demby remains in the stream, Gore kills him. Gore is not punished for his actions. This story illustrates that the murder of a slave is not treated as a punishable offense in the slaveholding south.

Demby Quotes in The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

The The Narrative of Frederick Douglass quotes below all refer to the symbol of Demby. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Self-Destructive Hypocrisy of Christian Slaveholders Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of The Narrative of Frederick Douglass published in 1995.
Chapter 4 Quotes

“I speak advisedly when I say this,—that killing a slave, or any colored person, in Talbot county, Maryland, is not treated as a crime, either by the courts or the community.”

Related Characters: Frederick Douglass (speaker)
Related Symbols: Demby
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

Douglass relates how another overseer, the solemn young man Mr. Gore, shot the slave Demby while Demby was submerging himself in a creek, in an attempt to assuage his pain after receiving wounds from the whip. Just as Mr. Gore coldly completed this murder, Lloyd calmly accepted it; Gore claimed that Demby was setting a dangerous example of uncontrollable conduct for the other slaves, and Lloyd determined that this explanation justified the murder. After presenting this specific instance, Douglass reminds the reader that such murders are not considered murders in Maryland -- "courts" as well as the "community" equally allow slaveowners to kill a slave without consequences. This simple description of the legal and social situation is thus grounded in a particular incident, allowing the reader to realize the emotional and powerful force of such law and social custom. 


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Demby Symbol Timeline in The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

The timeline below shows where the symbol Demby appears in The Narrative of Frederick Douglass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
The Self-Destructive Hypocrisy of Christian Slaveholders Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Gore once began to whip one of Colonel Lloyd’s slaves named Demby. Demby runs into a creek to ease the burns of the lash and refuses to... (full context)