The name "Douglass"
New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.
After meeting and staying with Nathan and Mary Johnson, they adopted Douglass as their married name: Douglass had grown up using his mother's surname of Bailey; after escaping slavery he had changed his surname first to Stanley and then to Johnson. In New Bedford, the latter was such a common name that he wanted one that was more distinctive, and asked Nathan Johnson to choose a suitable surname. Nathan suggested "Douglass," after having read the poem "The Lady of the Lake" by Walter Scott, in which two of the principal characters have the surname "Douglas".