William Wells Brown
William Wells Brown was born in Kentucky, 1814, to a slave mother and a slaveholder. In January 1834, Brown escaped to freedom becoming a fugitive slave in Canada. William W. Brown an antislavery lecturer, novelist, playwright, and author was one of the most prominent and prolific African American in the mid-nineteenth century.
After seizing his freedom, Brown (who received his middle and last name from an Ohio Quaker who helped him get to Canada) worked for nine years as a steamboat man on Lake Erie and a conductor for the Underground Railroad in Buffalo, New York. In 1843, the fugitive slave became a lecturing agent for the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society. Moving to Boston in 1847, he wrote the first, and still the most famous, version of his autobiography, Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself, which went through four American and five British editions before 1850, earning its author international fame.
Brown?s abolitionist career was marked by a turning point in the summer of 1843 when Buffalo hosted a national antislavery convention and the National Convention of Colored Citizens. Brown?s expanded service to the antislavery community brought an invitation to lecture before the American Anti-
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