Anna Douglass

Anna Douglass, 2022, Acrylic on Canvas, 16 x 20 in.

Anna Murray Douglass (1813 – 1882)

Anna Murray Douglass was an American abolitionist, member of the Underground Railroad, and the first wife of American social reformer and statesman Frederick Douglass, from 1838 to her death.

Anna Murray was a laundress and housekeeper. She met Frederick Douglass when he was working as a caulker at the docks of and Anna’s freedom inspired Frederick to seek his own. Anna helped Frederick escape enslavement by borrowed a freedman’s protection certificate from a friend, acquiring a sailor suit for Douglass to wear as a disguise and supplied the money for a train ticket to New York City. After they married, she supplemented their income by learning how to make shoes. She continued to support his abolitionist work for the rest of her life.  

When they moved to Rochester, NY, Anna established a headquarters for the Underground Railway in her home, allowing fugitives to stay there on their way to Canada.

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