1838 on September 3rd — Frederick Douglass Escapes

220px-Frederick_Douglass_by_Samuel_J_Miller,_1847-52On September 3rd, 1838, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), famous abolitionist born into slavery on the Maryland Eastern Shore, escaped slavery disguised as a sailor.

In his book My Bondage and My Freedom Douglass described some of his feelings anticipating his escape (partial excerpt):

“I had the painful sensation of being about to separate from a circle of honest and warm hearted friends, in Baltimore.  The thought of such a separation, where the hope of ever meeting again is excluded, and where there can be no correspondence, is very painful.  It is my opinion, that thousands would escape from slavery who now remain there but for the strong cords of affection that bind them to their families, relatives and friends.  The daughter is hindered from escaping, by the love she bears her mother, and the father, by the love he bears his children…….   I had no relations in Baltimore, and I saw no probability of ever living in the neighborhood of sisters and brothers; but the thought of leaving my friends, was among the strongest obstacles to my running away.   …… On Monday, the third day of September, 1838, in accordance with my resolution, I bade farewell to the city of Baltimore, and to that slavery which had been my abhorrence from childhood.”

 

— Linda Duyer

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