Narratives by Enslaved People

Published autobiographical works by enslaved and formerly enslaved people available in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections & Archives (Wake Forest University)

  • Letters of the late Ignatius Sancho, an African… To which are prefixed, memoirs of his life. London: R. Dodsley, et al., 1782. [DA501.S22 A35 1782]
  • The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by himself. Leeds: J. Nichols; London: Cradock and Joay, 1814 (New edition, corrected. First edition 1789.) [HT869.E6 A3 1814]
  • A narrative of some remarkable incidents, in the life of Solomon Bayley, formerly a slave, in the state of Delaware, North America. Written by himself, and published for his benefit; to which are prefixed, a few remarks by Robert Hurnard. London : Printed for Harvey and Darton, 1825. [E444 .B27]
  • Life of William Grimes, the runaway slave. Written by himself. New York : [the author?], 1825. [E444. G85 1825]
  • Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy; late a slave in the United States of America. London: C. Gilpin, 1842. [E444 .G75 1842]
  • Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge. Providence : Printed by B.T. Albro, 1843. [E444 .E54 1843]
  • Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Written by himself. Dublin : Webb and Chapman, 1845 [i.e. 1846]. (Irish edition published by Richard Webb immediately after the Boston first edition.) [E449 .D745 1845]
  • Narratives of the sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke, sons of a soldier of the revolution, during a captivity of more than twenty years among the slaveholders of Kentucky, one of the so called Christian states of North America. Dictated by themselves. Boston: B. Marsh, 1846. [E444 .C6]
  • Elleanor’s second book. By Eldridge, Elleanor, b. 1785. Providence : B. T. Albro, printer, 1847. [E444 .E54 1847]
  • The narrative of Lunsford Lane : formerly of Raleigh, N. C., embracing an account of his early life, the redemption by purchase of himself and family from slavery, and his banishment from the place of his birth for the crime of wearing a colored skin. Boston : Printed for the publisher, Hewes and Watson’s print., 1848. [E444 .L262]
  • Twelve years a slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River, in Louisiana. Auburn : Derby and Miller; Buffalo : Derby, Orton and Mulligan, 1853. [E444 .N87 1853]
  • Truth is stranger than fiction. Father Henson’s story of his own life. [Josiah Henson], with an introduction by Mrs. H.B. Stowe. Boston: John P. Jewett and Company ; Cleveland, Ohio: Henry P.B. Jewett, 1858. (First published in 1849 under title The Life of Josiah Henson.) [E444 .H523 1858]
  • Twenty-two years a slave, and forty years a freeman : embracing a correspondence of several years, while president of Wilberforce Colony, London, Canada West. By Austin Steward. Rochester, N.Y.: Allings & Cory, 1859. (Second edition.) [E444 .S842 1859]
  • Memoir of William Wells Brown, an American bondman. Written by himself. Boston: Anti-Slavery Office, 1859. [E444 .B88 1859]
  • Incidents in the life of a slave girl, written by herself. [Harriet Jacobs]; edited by L. Maria Child. Boston: Published for the author, 1861. [E444 .J17 1861]
  • Narrative of Sojourner Truth ; a bondswoman of olden time, emancipated by the New York Legislature in the early part of the present century; with a history of her labors and correspondence, drawn from her “Book of Life.” Boston : Published for the author, 1875. [E185.97 .T8 1875]
  • Life and times of Frederick Douglass, written by himself. Hartford, Connecticut: Park Publishing Co., 1881. [E449 .D74 1881]
  • Life of Isaac Mason as a slave. Worcester, Mass. : [Isaac Mason?], 1893. [E444 .M39 1893]