Book Creator

The Story of Ellen and WIlliam Craft

by Dashiell Oke and Srihith Puri


The Story of Ellen and William Craft
Ellen Craft.
Both Ellen and WIlliam were taken from there families. William was by his owner to someone in Macon, Georgia, at the age of 16. Ellen was sold to her slave owner's daughter. Her skin was light enough for people to mistake her as the child of her owner, which made her owner angry. Because of this, she also ended up in Macon.
In Macon they met and fell in love. They got married in 1846, although it wasn't seen a legal marriage because they were enslaved.
Macon,Georgia 1850
Planning the Escape
Ellen and William wanted to have children but the didn't want to risk being torn away from them. So, they planed an escape. Ellen had light enough skin to pass as white so they decided she would act like she "owned" William. For this to work Ellen had to dress as a man. She cut her hair to shoulder length and put on a cast to look like she had a broken arm. She did this because she didn't know how to write and she didn't want anyone to ask her to write.
What Ellen looked like before and after the disguise.
The Escape
Ellen and William asked their owners for a little break and their owners agreed so they left. When they reached the train station, they went different ways so that way they did not draw suspicion to themselves. Ellen went through the passenger area and bought a ticket for herself and WIlliam. When they rented a hotel while they waited for a steamer they found out that the last steamer left for the winter and a fugitive slave was found on board. They found another route that went through North Carolina and they were almost caught...
The Escape Part 2
They took a steamer and a lot of trains to get to Maryland. Before they boarded the train they were stopped by an office asking for Identification that Ellen owned William. They were saved by a person that was with them on the train before who told the officer that Ellen owned William and the officer let them go. From there they reached Philadelphia and revealed them slaves to the abolitionists who then took them to Boston. They were safe for a small amount of time.
The Aftermath
They settled down with Ellen being seamstress and William being a carpenter as they lived with the hilliards. The fact that Ellen Craft was able to pass off as white man brought many questions about what it means to be “black” and “white”. The Crafts joined many anti slavery groups after that. There escape did not end there, however. Later in 1850 congress passed a law that harboring fugitive slaves was illegal the bounty hunters Willis Hughes and John Knight attempted to capture the Crafts again.