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This Day in Georgia History

December 26, 1848

William and Ellen Craft Escaped

Having applied for a Christmas pass to visit her sick aunt, slave Ellen Craft - daughter of her original white master - and her slave husband - William Craft - began a dramatic slave escape from Georgia by sailing from Savannah. Ellen was light enough to pass for white, so she dressed up as a male slave holder, while her husband - who was much darker - posed as her servant. During their three-day escape, she pretended to be traveling to Philadelphia to see a medical specialist and stayed in the best hotels, while husband William stayed in stables. [For the full account of their escape and subsequent life, see Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom.]