Summary: In 1849, Henry Brown escaped from slavery by shipping himself in a crate from Virginia to an anti-slavery office in Philadelphia. 27 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, and describes one of the most audacious, creative escapes ...show more ever completed. 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. Indeed, it was when his own wife and children were sold away that he became determined to escape, and he enlisted the aid of a friend, who nailed him into a three-foot-by-two-foot wooden box. He traveled by railroad car, steamboat and horse cart--often upside down, despite a "this side up" stamp--to the free state of Pennsylvania. His unprecedented manner of arrival made him a public sensation in the North, and a celebrity on the anti-slavery lecture circuit.
With an introduction by Richard Newman and a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Narrative of the Life of Henry "Box" Brown conveys the unquenchable spirit of a hero who risked death rather than live a slave. A classic slave narrative, it makes unforgettable reading. ...show less