Escape, Freedom, and Family

Frederick Douglass was sent to Baltimore to work in the family of Hugh Auld. During this time Baltimore held the largest population of free blacks in all of the United States. Many freedom seekers sought shelter and/or passed through the city. It was through the established network that Douglass met his future wife, Anna Murray. It was through the assistance of Murray that Douglass fled Maryland and eventually settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

It was in freedom that Douglass became a renowned orator, lecturing frequently among abolitionist circles. He went on to publish a narrative of his life titled My Bondage and My Freedom, in which he documented his life of enslavement on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.


Land Record of the sale of Douglass from Hugh Auld to Thomas Auld.


Pages from Ledger A

Ledger A is an account book owned by Captain Aaron Anthony. The book includes a list of financial transactions, real and personal property. Capt. Anthony kept well documented lists of the names and births of his children and enslaved property. All of the enslaved individuals were recorded by name, with the name of their mother as well as their birth month and year. Close to the bottom is the name of Frederick Augustus Bailey, son of Harriet, born February 1818.

Ledger A shows Frederick Douglass Birth information.

Regarding Escape...

 LIBERTY was our aim; and we had now come to think that we had a right to liberty, against every obstacle--even against the lives of our enslavers.