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The Frederick Douglass Organization

Frederick Douglass Biography

1701 - 1840

  • 1701 Baly, presumed great-great-grandfather of Frederick, born.
  • 1745, December Jenny, great-grandmother of Frederick, born on Skinner Plantation.
  • 1774, May Betsey, grandmother of Frederick, born on Skinner Plantation.
  • 1792, February 28 Harriet, mother of Frederick, born on Skinner Plantation.
  • 1797, Aaron Anthony moves his slaves, including Betsey and Harriet, to Holme Hill Farm on Tuckahoe Creek, Talbot County.
  • 1818, February Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey born at Holme Hill Farm.
  • 1824, August Sent to live on Lloyd Plantation, Wye River, at the home of his master, Aaron Anthony.
  • 1825, February 14 (?) Mother visits him for the last time before her death late in 1825 or early in 1826.
  • 1825, August 27 Aunt Jenny and Uncle Noah escape to freedom; first intimation to Frederick that escape is possible.
  • 1826, March Sent to live with Hugh Auld family in Fells Point section of Baltimore.
  • 1826, November 14 Aaron Anthony dies.
  • 1827, October 18 Anthony's slaves divided among his heirs; Frederick awarded to Thomas Auld, returned to Hugh Auld family in Baltimore.
  • 1827, Sophia Auld teaches Frederick his letters; later he learns to write and do arithmetic on his own initiative.
  • 1831, Undergoes religious conversion, joins Bethel A.M.E. Church, buys first book, The Columbian Orator.
  • 1832, July 18 Sister Sarah sold to Perry Cohee of Mississippi, one of fifteen close relatives ”sold south” during Frederick's childhood.
  • 1833, March Sent to St. Michaels to live with Thomas Auld.
  • 1834, January 1 Begins year as field hand under Edward Covey, the “slave breaker-” Suffers many lashings.
  • 1834, August Fights with Covey; is not whipped thereafter.
  • 1835, January 1 Reassigned as field hand to William Freeland.
  • 1836, April 2 Escape plot foiled; Frederick and other plotters jailed in Easton.
  • 1836, April Sent back to Baltimore by Thomas Auld.
  • 1836- Learns caulking trade, is savagely beaten by white fellow
  • 1838 apprentices, joins debating society, meets Anna Murray, free Negro daughter of slaves.
  • 1838, September 3 Escapes north by train and boat.
  • 1838, September 15 Marries Anna Murray in New York City.
  • 1838, September 17 Leaves with his wife for New Bedford,, Massachusetts,, where he will work as a caulker.
  • 1838, September 18 Arrives at New Bedford, Massachusetts. Soon after, changes name to Frederick Douglass.
  • 1839 First hears William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, other abolitionist leaders; is inspired by abolitionism as “new religion.”
  • 1839, March 12 Speaks at anti-colonization meeting Negro citizens of New Bedford and praises William Lloyd Garrison & The Liberator for devotion to the cause of freeing the slaves.
  • 1839, June 24 Daughter Rosetta is born.
  • 1840, October 9 Son Lewis Henry is born.

1841 - 1847