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170 LIFE AND TIMES OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS

nor how he got away; besides he is educated, and is, in this, a contradiction
of all the facts we have concerning the ignorance of the slaves." Thus I was
in a pretty fair way to be denounced as an impostor. The committee of the
Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society knew all the facts in my case, and
agreed with me thus far in the prudence of keeping them private; but going
down the aisles of the churches in which my meetings were held, and hear-
ing the out-spoken Yankees repeatedly saying, "He's never been a slave, I'II
warrant you," I resolved to dispel all doubt at no distant day, by such a rev-
elation of facts as could not be made by any other than a genuine fugitive. In
a little less than four years, therefore, after becoming a public lecturer, I was
induced to write out the leading facts connected with my experience in slav-
ery, giving names of persons, places, and dates—thus putting it in the power
of any who doubted to ascertain the truth or falsehood of my story. This
statement soon became known in Maryland, and I had reason to believe that
an effort would be made to recapture me.

It is not probable that any open attempt to secure me as a slave could
have succeeded, further than the obtainment, by my master, of the money
value of my bones and sinews. Fortunately for me, in the four years of my
labors in the abolition cause, I had gained many friends who would have
suffered themselves to be taxed to almost any extent to save me from slav-
ery. It was felt that I had committed the double offense of running away and
exposing the secrets and crimes of slavery and slaveholders. There was a
double motive for seeking my re-enslavement—avarice and vengeance; and
while, as I have said, there was little probability of successful recapture, if
attempted openly, I was constantly in danger of being spirited away at a
moment when my friends could render me no assistance. In traveling about
from place to place, often alone, I was much exposed to this sort of attack.
Any one cherishing the design to betray me, could easily do so by simply
tracing my whereabouts through the anti-slavery journals, for my move-
ments and meetings were made known through these in advance. My
friends, Mr. Garrison and Mr. Phillips, had no faith in the power of
Massachusetts to protect me in my right to liberty. Public sentiment and the
law, in their opinion, would hand me over to the tormentors. Mr. Phillips
especially considered me in danger, and said when I showed him the manu-
script of my story, if in my place, he would "throw it into the fire." Thus the
reader will observe that the overcoming of one difficulty only opened the
way for another; and that though I had reached a free State, and had attained
a position for public usefulness, I was still under the liability of losing all I
had gained.

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