"WELL HERE I AM IN EGYPT. I have not seen pharaoh yet," Frederick wrote his son, "but I have seen at a distance the tops of the Pyramids, leaning their lofty heads mountain like against the soft blue sky." The Douglasses were at the farthest point of their trip to Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. It was the most conventional of upper-class trips abroad, and as one is apt to do when traveling, both Helen and Frederick had begun diaries when they left New York, in September 1886. Helen had made the arrangements for Stateroom 2 on the City of Rome, and they encountered none of the embarrassment and abuse that had marred Douglass's first Atlantic crossings. When they boarded, Helen was intrigued with the ingeniousness of the compact arrangement of their quarters, and both were busy visiting with the people who had come to see them off. Among them was Gustave Frauenstein: "We talked of Miss Assing & as the genial Dr. left he threw his arms around Frederick's neck in a good old fashioned hug & kissed him, kissed me, and ran off the steamer."
"In the evening, Frederick went on deck, but I was tired and undressed and mounted my perch, the upper berth," wrote Helen; "though we had pulled close on the dock and were all night receiving and loading freight just outside our port-hole, I slept all night." At sea, Frederick wrote of the rows of deck-chaired ladies with books "peacefully closed on their laps," held "more as ornament" than otherwise, dozing or peering at their fellow passengers while the men "walk the deck and smoke, smoke and smoke, looking as solemn as if they were on the way to a funeral."
"I had thought to cross the ocean quietly and without being recognized by anybody," he wrote, describing the impossible. The "English passen