Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself

Overview

It is the most celebrated escape in the history of American slavery. Henry Brown had himself sealed in a three-foot-by-two-foot box and shipped from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, a twenty-seven-hour journey to freedom. In Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself, Brown not only tells the story of his famed escape, but also recounts his later life as a black man making his way through white American and British culture. Most important, he paints a revealing portrait of the reality of ...
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Overview

It is the most celebrated escape in the history of American slavery. Henry Brown had himself sealed in a three-foot-by-two-foot box and shipped from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, a twenty-seven-hour journey to freedom. In Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself, Brown not only tells the story of his famed escape, but also recounts his later life as a black man making his way through white American and British culture. Most important, he paints a revealing portrait of the reality of slavery, of the wife and children sold away from him, the home to which he could not return, and his rejection of the slaveholders' religion - painful episodes that fueled his desire for freedom.

This edition comprises the most complete and faithful representation of Brown's life, fully annotated for the first time. John Ernest also provides an insightful introduction that places Brown's life in its historical setting and illuminates the challenges Brown faced in an often threatening world, both before and after his legendary escape.

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Editorial Reviews

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"Superbly edited. . . . This volume will prove valuable to students and scholars alike. . . . Highly recommended."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781230396873
  • Publisher: General Books LLC
  • Publication date: 9/12/2013
  • Pages: 22
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.05 (d)

Meet the Author

John Ernest is Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of American Literature at West Virginia University. He is the author of Resistance and Reformation in Nineteenth-Century African-American Literature and Liberation Historiography: African American Writers and the Challenge of History, 1794@-1861 (from the University of North Carolina Press).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Emergence of Henry "Box" Brown 1

A Note on the Text 39

Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself 41

Appendix A Illustrations 107

Appendix B Henry Box Brown in the Press 123

Appendix C From the United States to England: The Two Narratives 175

Works Cited 201

Index 207

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