A Fugitive Slave in Britain

(My Bondage and My Freedom, 1855)
Frederick Douglass was a formerly enslaved abolitionist, civil rights activist, feminist and advocate of social justice. He travelled to Britain in 1845 for 19 months, lecturing against slavery in the United States. To an American audience, Douglass is perhaps the most famous fugitive from slavery, but in Britain he is less well known, despite the fact he achieved great celebrity in the mid nineteenth century. His lectures in Britain were fascinating works of oratory and they provide extraordinary insight into Douglass' life, as well as Victorian society in the 1840s and beyond. The controversies Douglass created and became embroiled in illustrate his power as a commanding and influential speaker. Douglass returned to the States in 1847 a free man: British abolitionists had purchased his freedom.

For a list of resources and my publications, click here for the bibliography.

Teaching Resources:

I have designed several teaching resources that can be used in and outside of the classroom. They include extracts from Frederick Douglass’ speeches and some historical background taken from this site. In each resource, teachers can choose from a number of questions, activities, and debates, focusing on the nature of abolition as well as Douglass’ experience in Britain. I have tried to include different activities that encompass a variety of learning styles. The teaching resources can be found on the sidebar. Any queries or comments are most welcome.

Thanks for checking out the website!

(You can follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Hannah_RoseM 


This website started out as a Masters project for Royal Holloway, University of London. It has now snowballed into a PhD with the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham. 

If you would like to learn more about the website, email me at: hannahrose.murray78@gmail.com 

If you want to use the website in any form, please acknowledge the website as the source of the material. This is an educational, non-commercial project. I have referenced all scholarly work and the writings of Frederick Douglass, and copyright remains exclusively with them. The website and my own ideas are copyright -Hannah Murray 2014. All rights reserved.

(Images - Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Last updated - 25th September 2015

[1] Oldfield, J.R., Chords of Freedom – Commemoration, Ritual and British Transatlantic Slavery, (Manchester, 2007), p.149

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Subpages (2): John Brown Moses Roper