In this episode, we travel to the 1840s—specifically, to when Frederick Douglass decided to leave the United States for a bit and travel to Ireland and England. “Decided” is not exactly the right word. Douglass had recently published his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave in 1845. Although Douglass had escaped slavery, he was still in danger of being tracked down by the man who claimed to “own” him—and the release of his book doubled the threat.
As a result, Douglass traveled across the Atlantic. His trip to Ireland would prove to be an inflection point in his career, his thinking about race and class, and a key to his financial freedom.