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In his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass explains the long planning that he did when attempting to break free from bondage. Before he actually plans his first escape, Douglass was sure to learn all he could in terms of reading and trade skills. As a literate man, Douglass took to teaching the slaves around him how to read and write. Douglass then forges travel passes for himself and others to use during their escape. But this attempt is unsuccessful--another slave confesses and the men are caught and jailed for their attempt to run away. But Douglass makes another bid for freedom by stowing away on a boat in disguise. He does not write about this in the Narrative in order to protect those who helped him, but he does discuss it in a later autobiography My Bondage and My Freedom. This attempt is successful and takes Douglass north.
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