Borrowing papers from a free black sailor, he escapes from slavery to New York and changes his last name to Johnson.
The newlyweds move to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where Frederick works as an unskilled laborer. They stay with caterers Mary and Nathan Johnson. Nathan suggests that Frederick take on the last name Douglas, from a character in Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake. He does so, spelling it Douglass.
Tries to get job as a caulker, but white workers threaten to quit if he is hired.
Marries Anna Murray. The ceremony is performed by minister James W. C. Pennington, who is also an escaped Maryland slave.