Overview

In 1849, Henry Brown escaped from slavery by shipping himself in a three-foot-by-two-foot wooden crate from Virginia to an anti-slavery office in Philadelphia. Twenty-seven hours and 350 miles later, Brown stepped out of his box to begin a new life. This is his memoir, originally published in 1851 in England, as fresh and compelling today as it was 150 years ago. This extraordinary narrative paints an indelible portrait of life in slavery. With a keen sense of irony, Brown examines the "peculiar institution" -- ...
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Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown

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Overview

In 1849, Henry Brown escaped from slavery by shipping himself in a three-foot-by-two-foot wooden crate from Virginia to an anti-slavery office in Philadelphia. Twenty-seven hours and 350 miles later, Brown stepped out of his box to begin a new life. This is his memoir, originally published in 1851 in England, as fresh and compelling today as it was 150 years ago. This extraordinary narrative paints an indelible portrait of life in slavery. With a keen sense of irony, Brown examines the "peculiar institution" -- from the hypocrisy of slave-owning Christian preachers, to the system of bribery that forced slaves to purchase the rights to their own belongings, to the practice of separating slave families with no warning. It also describes one of the most audacious, creative escapes ever completed. A classic slave narrative, The Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown will make for unforgettable reading.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Narratives recorded by fugitive slaves in the antebellum South or former slaves after the Civil War were promoted by abolitionists and sold at antislavery meetings. This genre documented the harsh reality of slavery, the desire for personal and economic freedom, and the relationships between blacks and whites. Well known among African American scholars (the manuscript was first published in 1849), Brown's story was brought to the publisher's attention by Newman (W.E.B. DuBois Inst.). It is a testament to ingenuity and fortitude. Strongly motivated by the sale of his wife and children, in 1849 Brown escaped from servitude by having himself crated in a box 3' long x 2' wide. and shipped to an abolitionist in Philadelphia. After his 27-hour, 350-mile journey, he emerged to drink a glass of water and sing the 40th psalm. Not unexpectedly, word of his unorthodox journey spread to bring him celebrity status. Brown became a lecturer on the abolitionist circuit, singing his songs and telling his story. In his introduction, Newman delineates the circumstances of Brown's escape, the many instances of slave resistance, and the development of the slave narrative. A brief foreword by Henry Louis Gates, chair of African American studies at Harvard, relates the significance of Brown's tale. This important and moving document is recommended for academic libraries. Kathleen M. Conley, Illinois State Univ., Normal Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198033875
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 760,273
  • File size: 937 KB

Meet the Author


Henry "Box" Brown escaped slavery in 1849 by shipping himself in a crate from Richmond to Philadelphia. Upon attaining his freedom, he became a popular lecturer on the anti-slavery circuit, and he published this memoir in 1851.
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Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Introduction xi
Illustrations xxxv
Preface 3
Introduction 5
Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown 15
Appendix 67
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