Monday, September 03, 2007

September 3, 1838:

Frederick Douglass Escapes Slavery

Today is the anniversary of Frederick Douglass' escape from slavery. As a young man of about 20, he took his passage to freedom on a train, the very newest form of transportation in the 1830s. He left Maryland disguised as a free black sailor.

The former slave and abolitionist also has the distinction of being the first black man ever nominated for the vice presidency, albeit by a minor party with no chance of election. His nomination by Equal Rights Party to be Victoria Woodhull's running mate in 1872 was strictly symbolic (see May 10), and Douglass took no interest in campaigning or even acknowledging the nomination.

He did, however, hold a number of appointed offices at various times, including minister-resident and consul-general to the Republic of Haiti and chargĂ© d'affaires for the Dominican Republic (1889–1891), appointments made by President Harrison.

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