QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE FAMOUS SLAVE/ABOLITIONIST
Name: Frederick Douglass
AKA: Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, Frederick Stanley, Frederick Johnson
Birth: c.1818, Tuckahoe, Maryland
Death: 20 February 1895
Famed for: Being one of the
leading abolitionists and his speech, 'What to
the Slave is the Fourth of July'
Slavery Status: Escaped
Master: Captain Anthony and Thomas Auld
Parents: Harriet Bailey
Spouse: Anna Murray (1813-1882) M1838 and Helen Pitts
Children: Lewis Douglass, Charles
Douglass, Frederick Douglass Junior, Annie
Douglass, and Rosetta Douglass all from his first marriage
The Famous Slave and Abolitionist Frederick Douglass:
Teenage Years and Cruelty
On the death of Captain
Anthony, Frederick Douglass was given to Captain Anthony's son
in law, Thomas Auld, in 1832. Whilst Douglass, to
his relief, was hired back to Hugh Auld, he was
taken back some years later over a disagreement
between the brothers. Thomas Auld was not as pleasantly disposed as Hugh
Auld, nor did he allow
his slaves enough to eat. In order to survive, Frederick
Douglass together with the other slaves, including his sister and Aunt, resorted to stealing and
begging. Believing the then fifteen year old Frederick
Douglass was unruly and needed to be broken, Thomas Auld
sent the young slave to a known slave breaker, Edward Covey, on 1 January 1833.
Frederick Douglass was whipped almost weekly for the
first half of the year that he stayed with Covey, until
he surprised Edward Covey by fighting back, an act
punishable by death. Frederick Douglass was never again physically punished
at the hands of the slave breaker for the remainder of
The Slave and Abolitionist Frederick Douglass:
Trade, a Future Wife and Escape
When the year with Edward Covey was at an end,
Douglass returned to Hugh Auld, earning high wages after apprenticing as a caulker.
It was here that he met future wife Anna Murray, a laundress and free African American.
Murray provided Frederick Douglass with
sailor clothing, a disguise which enabled him to board a ship to New York.
Frederick Douglass' knowledge of ships and common
terminology from the
years spent around sailors provided credible cover.