Originally published in London in 1816, The Narrative of Robert Adams is an account of the adventures of an African American seaman who survives shipwreck, slavery, and brutal efforts to convert him to Islam, before being ransomed to the British consul. Robert Adams's story is accompanied by contemporary essays and notes ranking his experience in the context of African exploration at the time. The book's introduction examines Adams's contemporary credibility in relation to literary genres of the slave narrative and the Barbary Captivity narrative.
'From an Africanist point of view the book's strengths lie rather in the fact that it assembles not only the original text, … but also two contemporary essays published in the North American Review the following year. The book is enjoyable to read, the preface includes useful background information, and the index is helpful.' The Journal of African History
Charles Hansford Adams is Associate Professor of English at the University of Arkansas where he acts as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and International Programs. He is the author of The Guardian of the Law: Authority and Identity in James Fenimore Cooper(1991). His essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Southern Quarterly, American Studies, Western American Literature, and numerous collections.
1. Preface; 2. Bibliography; 3. Acknowledgments; 4. The Narrative of Robert Adams; 5. Interior of Africa (North American Review, May 1817); 6. Article IX. The Narrative of Robert Adams: a review essay by Jared Sparks (North American Review, July 1817).