central pennsylvania african american history for everyone
              ten years on the web 1997 - 2007

Jane Mars Chester

From Calobe Jackson, Jr., August 5, 2005

Jane Chester must have bought her freedom sometime after 1826. Being such a high profile person, the slave catchers would have delighted in capturing her. I once asked a prominent historian about how Frederick Douglass escaped his captors. Here is the answer:

"It is interesting to note that a good share of his public speaking career occurred while he was still legally enslaved and therefore subject to capture and return to slavery. It was not until 1848, after several years of active and prominent antislavery work in America and Europe, that a handful of British admirers raised 150 to buy his freedom. After the Civil War and the emancipation, Douglass continued to tour the country speaking out in favor of equal rights, the importance of education for African Americans, fair employment and against prejudice, lynchings, "Jim Crow" and other forms of oppression."

So, when Douglass spoke at Dauphin County Courthouse in 1847, he was subject to capture. There is more to this story...somewhere!

Calobe Jackson

Reply to this letter here


Write to us-- we will publish letters to the editor, letters to the community, etc.  Note:  we will not publish letters containing personal attacks on individuals.  We reserve the right to edit letters for length and content, or not to publish at our discretion.

 E-mail:  I want to share my story

 This Web site represents our community's shared history.  Won't you join us?

afrolumens project home | mailbox page

Original material on this page copyright 2005 Afrolumens Project
The url of this page is
Contact the editor

This page was updated August 15, 2005.