Ellen Kraft, a Fugitive Slave, 1851


The Illustrated London News (1851), vol. 18, p. 315.


The article accompanying this illustration describes how Ellen and William Craft were reared in Georgia, living near one another but with different owners. William is a black man, but his wife Ellen is nearly white. They were married and in 1848 they escaped with Ellen having cut off her hair and wearing green spectacles disguised herself as a young man, and her husband as her servant. They traveled to Savannah, then took a boat to Charleston (South Carolina) and from there went to Boston where William worked as a cabinet maker and Ellen as a seamstress. They supported themselves and learned how to read and write, but when the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 came into operation they were hunted. They managed to escape on a ship to New York, and from there took passage on a British ship which arrived in Liverpool about four months before this article was written (p. 316).

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