Portrait of West African writer and former slave Olaudah Equiano.

Olaudah Equiano

(c. 1745 - 1797)

Olaudah Equiano wrote that he was kidnapped at the age of eleven in Africa and eventually brought to Virginia via Barbados. Among his masters during ten-odd years of slavery were a plantation owner, a lieutenant of the British navy, and a Philadelphia-based Quaker merchant. The author of the first internationally best-selling slave narrative—The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; or, Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself—Equiano bought his freedom in 1766, settled in London, became an abolitionist, published his book in 1789, and died in 1797.

All Writing

Voices In Time

1754 | Bridgetown

Middle Passage

Olaudah Equiano endures new refinements in cruelty.More

Issues Contributed