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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   



7. Slavery and
Freedom


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Activities: Author Activities


Briton Hammon - Selected Archive Items

Back Back to Briton Hammon Activities

[1742] Homann Hereditors, Guinea Propia Nec Non Nigritiae Vel Terrae Nigrorum Maxima Pars... (1743),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.
This map of West Africa (Guinea) shows European slave-trade forts, coastal slave-trading kingdoms, but little of the interior where many slaves were captured. It also depicts ivory and Africans wearing imported cloth and hats, but not slaves.

[2603] Harper's Weekly, The Africans of the Slave Bark "Wildfire"--The Slave Deck of the Bark "Wildfire," Brought into Key West on April, 30, 1860. African Men Crowded onto the Lower Deck; African Women Crowded on an Upper Deck (1860),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-41678].
This engraving shows the crowded conditions aboard slave ships. Such depictions of the inhumanity of slavery provided powerful imagery that helped strengthen the growing abolition movement in the United States.

[3601] Anonymous, "Slave Auction at Richmond Virginia," Illustrated London News, Sept. 27, 1865 (1865),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-15398].
This woodcut engraving depicts the auction of an African American woman. As with the figure of the tragic mulatta, slavery is here feminized to invoke sympathy for the abolitionist cause. The Illustrated London News was founded in 1842 by Henry Ingram, a liberal who favored social reform.

[6830] Peter Canot, A View of the Entrance of the Harbour of the Havana, Taken from within the Wrecks (1764),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-105952].
Havana, Cuba, was one of the ports visited by Briton Hammon as a sailor. Trade in sugar, slaves, and other commodities linked the Caribbean, Africa, North America, and Europe.

[6950] Briton Hammon, Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man... [Frontispiece] (1760),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Rare Books and Special Collections Division.
Front page of the earliest-known autobiographical narrative by an African American. Hammon's model helped establish a close relationship between the autobiographical genres of "captivity narratives" and "slave narratives."



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