Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland. His birth year is estimated to be either 1817 or 1818, but no one knows the exact date. He was separated from his grandmother when he was six years old, and his mother died when he was only ten. His father was believed to be his mother’s overseer, Aaron Anthony, but there is no evidence that proves that. After the death of his mother, Douglass was given to a woman named Lucretia Auld. Her husband, Thomas Auld, sent him to serve his brother Hugh Auld in the city of Baltimore. His new master’s wife, Sophia, began teaching him how to read but stopped the lessons after his master discovered them. Instead, Douglass went to the poor white boys of the town and gave them bread in exchange for reading lessons. He eventually learned to read and write that way. Douglass was soon hired out to work on William Freeland’s plantation. While there, he began teaching other slaves to read the Bible on Sundays. However, other plantation owners soon found out about the meetings and put and end to it. Not long after, Thomas Auld took back Douglass and sent him to work for Edward Covey, a poor slavebreaker with a bad reputation. He beat Douglass and the other slaves regularly. One day, Douglass had enough and fought back. Covey never beat him again. While working for Freeland, Douglass unsuccessfully attempted to escape. He tried again in 1863 when he was working for Covey. Soon after his second escape attempt, he met and fell in love with a free black woman named Anna Murray in Baltimore. One year later, in 1837, Douglass escaped from slavery once and for all by boarding a northbound train. He got off in northeast Maryland. He was 20 miles from his destination, the free state of Pennsylvania, but it was easier to pass through Delaware, a slave state. He dressed in a sailor’s outfit provided by Murray and crossed through Delaware using identification papers he received from a black sailor.