Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass, [Frederick Baily] (1818-1895), escaped slave, Abolitionist, author, editor of the North Star and later the New National Era

Frederick Douglass Quote

“Any one having a white face, and being so disposed, could stop us, and subject us to examination. ... When I get there [in Pennsylvania], I shall not be required to have a pass; I can travel without being disturbed.”

Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass
~ Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself [1845] (Toronto: New American Library, 1968), p. 77 and 93-94

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

I'm not sure exactly how to rate this. Slavery is abhorrent and would require a thumbs down. To travel without papers, license, or having to Identify your self should receive at least 5 stars. I know personally a white attorney that was recently traveling through Pennsylvania in a Ryder truck (his mother had passed and he was transporting her household) and was pulled over on a Thursday evening and not allowed to see a judge until Monday morning. He was told in court for the first time that he was pulled and detained without charge under authority of the Patriot Act. Only because he is a good and LOUD attorney did he even get to court so quickly. The current democratic oligarchy, deploying it's fascist fangs has made slaves of us all.

Robert, Sarasota

I agree with Mike but for one small correction, delete the word democtratic - Democratic and Oilgarchy is an oxymoron. There is not true reprersenation in America - winner takes all. The essence of this statement deserves five stars.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Just because a quote is about an abhorant subject (such as slavery) does not mean that it deserves an immediate thumbs down... it is not bad to speak out about such practices... indeed, this quote is clearly against such practice... indeed, it serves well to point out how our current King George and his hench men have turned us all into a form of modern slaves.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Oligarchy - rule by the most powerful (money, power, political). Democracy - rule by the people. It is not an oxymoron since we are truly a Republic, many people believe we are a democracy, but we are in reality an oligarchy ... our country are ruled by those with power.

David L Rosenthal

Maybe the lawyer in Pennsylvania wasn't telling you the whole story. Believe this or not: In the past year, I have written to the White House, to the CIA chief, to the the Secretary of Defense, and to the chief of Cuba Transition, and stated plainly that I intended to participate at my earliest convenience in the armed overthrow of the Castro regime. No one has arrested, warned, or even looked sideways at me.


The Pennsylvania story demonstrates how outrageous the Patriot Act is. Neither the Patriot Act, nor who you have written to have anything to do with this quote?

David L Rosenthal

Anonymous: The Patriot Act and my comment have more to do with the quote than your response. Think.

E Archer, NYC

WIth the passage of the recent Military Commissions Act, habeas corpus is over -- anyone can now be arrested without charge, without a warrant or court order, and no access to counsel. 'Papers, please' is now the norm in fascist America. Will we ever learn?

Mike, Norwalk

The attorney I spoke of happens to be a close friend and a good middle of the road pacifist (we differ somewhat). While he was in jail he happened to get word out to his brother, another attorney, and a couple of others. All involved in the defence believe the incident was random, instigated by at least the subduing officer. No charges were ever written or presented (anywhere) The Patriot act in conjunction with the Military Commissions Act have everything to do with the quote. Social slavery has replaced racial slavery and there is no where to run, not even Penn.

shonnique, renton

thats so true... what do we have without the freedom of speach and the freedom to hear?

cal, lewisville, tx

They are not arresting you under the Patriot Act. They are only "detaining" you. Hard to see the legal difference when you are still locked up!

jim k, austin

It is now "illegal" to carry cash of any fairly large amount in this country. If the cops stop you and find that you are carrying a few hundred dollars, they can call it the proceeds of a drug tansaction and confiscate your money. They can do this and never even charge you with anything and they do it all the time. Have a trace of marijuana in your car and they can steal it without charging you with any crime. Seig Heil.

  • Reply
    RBESRQ    10/26/09

    I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. Leonardo da Vinci

    Tasha Willams, Flordia,mami

    this book was fabulous no words to describe it!!!!!!


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