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Aaron Anthony (abt. 1767 - 1826)

Captain Aaron Anthony
Born about in Tuckahoe, Caroline, Marylandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 16 Jan 1797 in Talbot, Maryland, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 59 in Maryland, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 30 Oct 2009
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Aaron Anthony, born into poverty and orphaned young, captained boats on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He married Ann Catherine Skinner in 1797 and worked as an overseer on the Wye plantation of Edward Lloyd overseeing more than 500 slaves.

He personally owned both Betsy Bailey and her five daughters (Betsy's husband was a free black man); one of Betsy's daughters, Harriet, gave birth in 1818 to Frederick, later known as Frederick Douglass, the great orator and anti-slavery campaigner. Anthony may have been Douglass' biological father; Douglass was told as a child that his master was his father, but sometimes expressed doubt that it was Anthony himself. Anthony did have two adult sons, Andrew and Richard, who also could have fathered Douglass.

In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass portrayed Anthony as a cruel tyrant and an "unhappy man" who was also capable of occasional moments of tenderness.


Birth: 1767 in Tuckahoe Neck, Caroline, MD [1]


Perry BAILEY b: JAN 1813 in Maryland
Sarah BAILEY b: AUG 1814 in Maryland
Eliza BAILEY b: MAR 1816 in Maryland
Frederick Augustus Washington BAILEY b: FEB 1818 in Talbot Co, MD (near Easton MD)
Kitty BAILEY b: MAR 1820 in Maryland
Arianna BAILEY b: OCT 1822 in Maryland


  1. Betsy, mother of Harriet Bailey
  2. Harriet Bailey, mother of Frederick
  3. Frederick Augustus Washington BAILEY b: FEB 1818 in Talbot Co, Maryland (near Easton Maryland)

Research Notes

As a child, Douglass lived on the same plantation as his grandparents, Betsy and Isaac Bailey. The plantation was owned by Col. Edward Lloyd, 13th governor of Maryland, but Frederick was owned by the overseer Aaron Anthony. (


  1. Roots Tree WILLIS and Allied Families
  • 'Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself', by Frederick Douglass, Yale University Press, 2016.
  • Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series). Frederick Douglass (b. 1818 - d. 1895), MSA SC 5496-13800, Fled from slavery, Baltimore City, Maryland, 1838.

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Comments: 3

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I have JUST NOW "adopted" this profile. I am a huge admirer of Frederick Douglas and when I looked at his profile I saw the presumed father, Anthony (slaver) was an ORPHANED profile.

I welcome any and all assistance in making this profile as correct as it can be. TIA (thank you in advance)

posted by Cynthia (Hicks) Curtis
In this article you will see a pic of Aaron Anthony as well as a newspaper "ad" from him looking for a slave.

posted by Alfred Butler Jr

This week's featured connections are Fathers: Aaron is 16 degrees from James Madison, 26 degrees from Konrad Adenauer, 21 degrees from Charles Babbage, 19 degrees from Chris Cornell, 16 degrees from Charles Darwin, 17 degrees from James Naismith, 26 degrees from Paul Otlet, 24 degrees from Henry Parkes, 26 degrees from Eiichi Shibusawa, 27 degrees from William Still, 18 degrees from Étienne-Paschal Taché and 18 degrees from Cratis Williams on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.

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Categories: Talbot County, Maryland, Slave Owners