Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
Meet Amazing Americans Activists & Reformers Frederick Douglass
Cover of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.
The 1845 cover of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Enlarge this image
Douglass's Escape from Slavery
Can you believe that a train conductor held the fate of Frederick Douglass's entire life in his hands? Douglass described his daring escape on a train ride from Baltimore to Philadelphia in his autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881). For the journey, Douglass disguised himself as a sailor wearing a red shirt, a tarpaulin hat, and a black scarf tied loosely around his neck. He also had to be able to talk like a sailor. "My knowledge of ships and sailor's talk came much to my assistance, for I knew a ship from stem to stern, and from keelson to cross-trees, and could talk sailor like an 'old salt.'" Besides a disguise, what else do you think Douglass needed?
page 1 of 4 Next

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us