A literal example of Douglass's discussing the power of literacy occurs when he plans his first attempt at escaping to the North. He has taught several slaves on the plantation how to read, and he himself has improved his own skills over the course of the years. He is able to forge documents that allow him and others the opportunity to escape. Of course, this plan is ruined by an information leak and the men are caught; however, once Douglass realizes that he is being chased, he knows that he must destroy the forged passes. The passes are so powerful that as evidence, they could lead to harsher punishment for the men.