A sheet music cover illustrated with a portrait of prominent black abolitionist Frederick Douglass as a runaway slave. Douglass flees barefoot from two mounted pursuers who appear across the river behind him with their pack of dogs. Ahead, to the right, a signpost points toward New England.
The cover's text states that "The Fugitive's Song" was "composed and respectfully dedicated, in token of confident esteem to Frederick Douglass. A graduate from the PECULIAR INSTITUTION. For his fearless advocacy, signal ability and wonderful success in behalf of His Brothers in Bonds. (and to the Fugitives From Slavery in the) FREE STATES & CANADAS. by their friend Jesse Hutchinson Junr."
As the illustration suggests, Douglass himself had escaped from slavery, fleeing in 1838 from Maryland to Massachusetts. He achieved considerable renown for his autobiography "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass," first published in 1845. The Library's copy of "The Fugitive's Song" was deposited for copyright on July 23, 1845.
An earlier abolitionist song composed by Hutchinson, "Get Off the Track!" (no. 1844-14), also used a cover illustration to amplify its message.