HE CAME, as a child, from the country to the city, and he never willingly went back.
After an overnight trip, the sloop docked at Smith's Wharf early on Sunday morning, and once the sheep had been herded up the hill in the heat, Tom took Frederick back down to Alice Anna Street and a spare, narrow house on the corner of an alley. When the door opened, "I saw what I had never seen before; it was a white face beaming with the most kindly emotions; it was the face of my new mistress, Sophia Auld." Suspicious, cautious, yet yearning for steady affection, he "hardly knew how to behave toward 'Miss Sophia.'" Her sister-in-law, Lucretia, had also been kind to Frederick, but he had always felt he had to play the endearing child outside her window in order to gain that kindness. With Katy's food trough in mind, he wrote, "I had been treated as a pig on the plantation; in this new house, I was treated as a child."
His defenses yielded: "How could I hang down my head . . . when there was no coldness to repel me, and no hatred to inspire me with fear?" Sophia took him into the house, and he met her husband, Hugh Auld, a broad-shouldered shipbuilder, and their two-year-old son, Tommy. The little one was told that this was "his Freddy": Frederick was to look after him, a task that, initially, consisted largely of seeing that he did not toddle into the street crowded with wagons carrying cargoes and fittings for the ships at the docks close by. The Aulds lived in Fells Point, Baltimore's busy shipbuilding center on the east side of the harbor. Baltimore was one of the nation's major ports; from here foodstuffs were shipped to