William Wells Brown (circa 1814 - November 6, 1884) was a prominent African-American abolitionist lecturer, novelist, playwright, and historian in the United States. Born into slavery in Montgomery County, Kentucky, near the town of Mount Sterling, Brown escaped to Ohio in 1834 at the age of 20. He settled in Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked for abolitionist causes and became a prolific writer. While working for abolition, Brown also supported causes including: temperance, women's suffrage, pacifism, prison reform, and an anti-tobacco movement. His novel Clotel (1853), considered the first novel written by an African American, was published in London, England, where he resided at the time; it was later published in the United States. Brown was a pioneer in several different literary genres, including travel writing, fiction, and drama. In 1858 he became the first published African-American playwright, and often read from this work on the lecture circuit. Following the Civil War, in 1867 he published what is considered the first history of African Americans in the Revolutionary War. He was among the first writers inducted to the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, established in 2013. A public school was named for him in Lexington, Kentucky. Brown was lecturing in England when the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law was passed in the US; as its provisions increased the risk of capture and re-enslavement, he stayed overseas for several years. He traveled throughout Europe. After his freedom was purchased in 1854 by a British couple, he and his two daughters returned to the US, where he rejoined the abolitionist lecture circuit in the North. A contemporary of Frederick Douglass, Brown was overshadowed by the charismatic orator and the two feuded publicly.William was born into slavery in 1814 (or March 15, 1815) near Lexington, Kentucky, where his mother Elizabeth was a slave (she was of Native American and Black ancestry). She was held by Dr. John Young and had seven children, each by different fathers. (In addition to William, her children were Solomon, Leander, Benjamin, Joseph, Milford, and Elizabeth.) William was of mixed race; his father was George W. Higgins, a white planter and half brother of his master Dr. Young. Higgins formally acknowledged William as his son and made Young promise not to sell him.But Young did sell the boy and his mother. In the end, William was sold several times before he was twenty years old. William spent the majority of his youth in St. Louis. His masters hired him out to work on steamboats on the Missouri River, then a major thoroughfare for steamships and the slave trade. His work allowed him to see many new places. In 1833, he and his mother escaped together across the Mississippi River, but they were captured in Illinois. In 1834, Brown made a second escape attempt, successfully slipping away from a steamboat when it docked in Cincinnati, Ohio, a free state. In freedom, he took the names of Wells Brown, a Quaker friend who helped him after his escape by providing food, clothes and some money. He learned to read and write, and eagerly sought more education, reading extensively to make up for what he had been deprived. Around this time he was hired by Elijah Lovejoy and worked with the famed abolitionist in his printing office.....
Clotelle; Or, the Colored Heroine; A Tale of the Southern States. by: William Wells Brown: William Wells Brown (Circa 1814 - November 6, 1884) Was a P
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