The history of the slave trade and slavery remains one of mankind’s darkest chapters. For centuries, millions of men, women and children were sold into slavery and subjected to terrible living conditions. Among the many heroes and heroines who fought for the abolition of slavery, Ellen Craft is one of the most remarkable. In this article, we’ll find out who Ellen Craft was and why she became an emblematic figure in the fight for freedom.

Ellen Craft: a life of slavery

Ellen Craft was born in Georgia in 1826. She was the daughter of a slave and a white owner, which made her a slave herself. She grew up working on her owners’ plantation and enduring all the horrors of slavery. But Ellen had something special: she was intelligent, ambitious and determined to free herself from slavery.

Ellen Craft une figure emblematique de la lutte pour la liberte

Ellen Craft’s daring escape

The year 1848 marked a turning point in the life of Ellen Craft, a woman determined to escape the oppression of slavery. Together with her husband, William Craft, she hatched a bold plan . Their goal: freedom. Their plan consisted of a radical metamorphosis and a well-thought-out strategy.

Ellen knew she had to take on a role that would take her out of the ordinary. She decided to disguise herself as a white man, an incredibly risky move in a society where skin color often dictated destiny. William, for his part, would pose as his devoted black slave.

The couple managed to get their hands on carefully forged travel documents. These deceptive documents stated that Ellen was a sick white man in need of constant service, while William was her loyal slave charged with caring for him. These papers were their passport to freedom.

The long-awaited day finally arrived. Ellen, dressed as a man, took the train to Philadelphia, while William accompanied her, playing the role of her servant. Their heartbeats echoed with the hope of a new life, but also with the fear of disastrous consequences in the event of discovery.

In Philadelphia, Ellen and William were warmly welcomed by dedicated abolitionists, ready to help them in their quest for freedom. These benevolent and determined people helped organize their onward journey north, away from the chains of slavery that had hampered their existence for too long.

Ellen Craft’s daring escape is a powerful tale of courage, determination and resilience in the face of oppression, a poignant reminder of the universal quest for freedom and human dignity.

Ellen Craft: an emblematic figure in the fight for freedom

Ellen and William’s escape was an incredible feat, not only because they managed to deceive the authorities, but also because they broke down gender and racial stereotypes. Ellen went on to write a book entitled « Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom » which told their story and became a classic of abolition literature.

Ellen Craft became an emblematic figure in the fight for freedom and the abolition of slavery. Her story has inspired many to fight forequality and justice, and she remains an inspiration to civil rights movements around the world.


Ellen Craft is a heroine of the struggle to abolish slavery and defend human rights. Her story shows that determination, courage and perseverance can overcome the most difficult obstacles. We should all remember her example and continue to fight for a world where all people are free and equal.

See also our article: Yasuke: The fascinating story of the first black samurai

    Your cart
    Your basket is emptyBack to store