Ellen and William Craft

(1826-1890/1825-1900)

Ellen and William Craft were an American couple who escaped from slavery in the United States. They arrived in England in the early 1850’s. Ellen a light-skinned American slave was so fair that during their escape she was able to disguise herself as a man and pose as Williams white master.

William was a cabinet-maker and Ellen a seamstress. The couple spent a great deal of their time at public meetings campaigning against slavery. In 1860 they published an account of their escape Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom.

When the news reached Britain of the American Civil War, William defended President Abraham Lincoln’s stance and stated that he hoped that the war would continue until all slavery was abolished.

After the Civil War ended the Crafts returned to the United States. The house where they lived in Hammersmith – 26 Cambridge Grove, still stands. 

Read in more detail about Ellen and William Craft‘s story.