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More on Black Writers of the 1700s

Search our catalog for narratives by enslaved writers


Selected slave narratives in order of publication date:

  • Hammon, Briton. A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings, and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man,---Servant to General Winslow, of Marshfield, in New-England; Who Returned to Boston, after Having Been Absent almost Thirteen Years. Containing an Account of the Many Hardships He Underwent from the Time He left His Master’s House, in the Year 1747, to the Time of His Return to Boston.---How He was Cast Away in the Capes of Florida;---The Horrid Cruelty and In Human Barbarity of the Indians in Murdering the Whole Ship’s Crew;---The Manner of His Being Carry’d by Them Into Captivity. Also, an Account of His Being Confined Four Years and Seven Months in a Close Dungeon,---and the Remarkable Manner in which He Met with His Good Old Master in London; Who Returned to New-England, a Passenger in the Same Ship. Boston: Green and Russell, 1760.
  • Hammon, Jupiter. Poem, an Evening Thought. New York, 1760.
  • Fortune. The Dying Confession and Declaration of Fortune, a Negro Man. Boston: Fowle and Draper, 1762. ["No copy of this tract can now be located." Early American Imprints, 1st series, no. 9116. [New York]: Readex Microprint, c1966.]
  • Bristol. The Dying Speech of Bristol. Boston: Edes and Gill, 1763.
  • Gronniosaw, James Albert Ukawsaw. 1712-1775 A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African Prince. Ed. Walter Shirley. Bath: S. Hazzard, 1770.
  • Wheatley, Phillis. Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, A. Bell, Aldgate, London, 1773.
  • Sancho, Ignatius. 1729-1780. Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, An African. In Two Volumes. To Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of His Life.  London: J. Nichols, 1782.
  • Belinda. “Petition of an African Slave, to the Legislature of Massachusetts.” ´╗┐Massachusetts.” From The American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces,1782. ´╗┐Prose and Poetical. For June, 1787. Volume 1. Number 6. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1787.
  • Marrant, John. A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant. 1785.
  • Cugoano, Ottobah. Narrative of the Enslavement of Ottobah Cugoano, a Native of Africa; Published by Himself in the Year 1787. Reissued Penguin Classics, Vincent Carretta, editor and author of introduction.
  • Equiano, Olaudah. 1745?-1797. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself.  (2 vols.) London: The Author, 1789.
  • Pomp. Dying Confession of Pomp, a Negro man Who Was Executed at Ipswich, on the 6th, August 1791…Taken from the Mouth of the Prisoner, by Jonathan Plummer.  Ed. Jonathan Plummer. Newburyport, MA: Jonathan Plummer, 1795.
  • Smith, Stephen, 1769?-1797. Life, Last Words and Dying Speech of Stephen Smith, a Black Man, Who Was Executed at Boston This Day Being Thursday, October 12, 1797 for Burglar. Boston: The Author, 1797.
  • King, Boston, 1760?-1802. "Memoirs of the Life of Boston King, a Black Preacher, Written by Himself, during His Residence at Kingswood-School." Methodist Magazine (London), March-June 1798.
  • Smith, Venture, 1729-1805. A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, A Native of Africa: But Resident above Sixty Years in the United States of America. Related by Himself. New London, CT: C. Holt at The Bee-office, 1798.

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Image: Jupiter Hammon’s Address, published in New York and Philadelphia in 1787