Olaudah Equiano


  • Intro

    Olaudah Equiano was an African slave who, after buying his freedom, became a prominent anti-slavery campaigner. This is an extract from his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African, describing his capture in Nigeria as a young boy and the subsequent journey to the Caribbean on a slave ship. The book formed an important part of the campaign to abolish slavery when it was published in 1789, selling several thousand copies; many to the political elite. The story of Equiano's passage into slavery arrived just at a moment when the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was circulating slave ship diagrams around the country.


    Between 1789 and 1794, there were 9 editions and it was translated and printed in many European countries. Although not the first account of slavery from an African point of view, Equiano's book became the most popular and widely read.


    Shelfmark: 615.d.8.

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