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Former Slave Narratives
- Arter, Jared Maurice (b. 1850). Echoes from a Pioneer Life. Illustrated. Atlanta: A.B. Caldwell Publishing, 1922. Reprinted Freeport, NY: Former West Virginia slave, educator.
- Burton, Thomas William (1860-1939). What Experience Has Taught Me. Introduction by John Wesley Gazaway. Illustrated. Cincinnati: Press of Jennings and Graham, 1910. Former slave in Kentucky, physician in Ohio.
- Hamilton, Jeff (1840-1950). “My Master”: The Inside Story of Sam Houston and His Times, by His Former Slave. As told to, and Preface by, Lenoir Hunt. Foreword by Franklin Williams. Illustrated. Bibliography. Notes. Dallas: Manfred, Van Nort & Co., 1940. A former slave in Kentucky and Texas tells the story of the famous Texas general, U.S. Senator, and governor, as well as discussing his own childhood as a slave.
- Heard, William Henry (1850-1937). From Slavery to the Bishopric in the AME Church: An Autobiography. Introduction by HH Cooper. Illustrated. Philadelphia: AME Book Concern, 1924. Reprinted New York: Arno Press, 1969. [only available in 1969 edition] Former slave, South Carolina legislator, Minister-resident and consul general to Liberia, and AME Bishop from 1908.
- Langston, John Mercer (1829-1897). From the Virginia Plantation to the National Capitol; or, the First and Only Negro Representative in Congress from the Old Dominion. Illustrated. Hartford, CN:Americn Publishing, 1894. Reprinted New York: Arno Press, 1969. Reprinted New York: Bergman Publishers, 1969. Reprinted New york: Kraus Reprint Co., 1969. Probably born free, minister, lawyer, politician, president of VA Normal and Collegiate Institute.
- Latta, Morgan London (b. 1853). The History of My Life and Work: Autobiography. Introduction by George Daniel. Illustrated. Raleigh, NC: The Author, 1903. Revised and reprinted Raleigh, NC: The Author, 1924 [first edition available] Former North Carolina slave, Shaw graduate, educator, founder of Latta University in West Raleigh.
- Lewis, Joseph Vance. Out of the Ditch: A True Story of an Ex-Slave. Illustrated. Houston: Rein & Sons, Co., Printer, 1910. Former Louisiana slave, lawyer, physician, attended Leland University, University of Michigan Law, Chicago Law, and London (England) Lane School of Law, worked for Republican Party in Chicago.
- Love, Nat (1854-1921). The Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as “Deadwood Dick,” by Himself: A True History of Slavery Days, Life on the Great Cattle Ranges and on the Plains of the “Wild and Woolly” West, Based on Facts, and Personal Experiences of the Author. Illustrated. Los Angeles: The Author, 1907. Reprinted New York: Arno Press, 1968. Former Tennessee slave, railroad car worker, and cowboy between 1869 and 1890.
- Lynch, John Roy (1847-1939). Reminiscences of an Active Life: The Autobiography of John Roy Lynch. Edited and Introduction by John Hope Franklin. Notes. Index. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1970. [available in first edition] Former Louisina and Mississippi slave, lawyer in Chicago, realtor, first Negro elected to Mississippi House of Representatives, US Army officer during and after Spanish-American War.
- Malvin, John (1795-1880). Autobiography of John Malvin: A Narrative, Containing an Authentic Account of His Fifty Years’ Struggle in the State of Ohio in Behalf of the American Slave, and the Equal Rights of All Men Before the Law Without Reference to Race or Color; Forty-Seven Years of Said Time Being Expended in the City of Cleveland. Cleveland: Leader Printing Co., 1879. Reprinted as North into Freedom: The Autobiography of John Malvin, Free Negro, 1795-1880. Edited, Introduction, and Notes by Allan Peskin. Cleveland: Western Reserve UP, 1966. Born and raised free in VA, later an abolitionist, civil rights leader, and political reformist in Cleveland, OH.
- Marrs, Elijah Preston (1840-1910). Life and History of the Rev. Elijah P. Marrs. Louisville: Bradley & Gilbert, 1885. Reprinted Miami, FL: Mnemosyne Publishing, 1969. [available in 1969 reprint] Former Kentucky slave, teacher, educational administrator, Baptist minister, and Union Army soldier.
- Newton, Alexander Herritage (b. 1837). Out of the Briars: An Autobiography and Sketch of the Twenty-Ninth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers. Introduction by J. P. Sampson. Illustrated. Philadelphia: A.M.E. Book Concern, 1910. Reprinted Miami, FL: Mnemosyne Publishing, 1969. [available in 1989 reprint] Freeman in North Carolina, A.M.E. minister, abolitionist in New York and Connecticut, served in Union Army; book includes some of his essays, sermons, and church resolutions.
- Payne, Daniel Alexander (1811-1893). Recollections of Seventy Years. Compiled and arranged by Sarah C. Bierce Scarborough. Edited by C.S. Smith. Introduction by Francis J. Grimke. Illustrated. Nashville: Publishing House of the A.M.E. Sunday School Union, 1888. Reprinted New York: Arno Press, 1968. [avail. in 1969 reprint] A.M.E. bishop, first president of Wilberforce University; describes his youth as a freeman in South Carolina, studied at the Lutheran Theological Seminary (Gettysburg, PA), taught in Philadelphia; discusses ministerial duties in Baltimore and DC.
- Parker, Allen (b. 1837?). Recollections of Slavery Times. Worcester, MA: Charles W. Burbank & Co., 1895. Laborer in Worcester, MA; former NC slave, escaped to the North in 1862, and served in US Navy.
- Ray, Emma J. Smith (1859-1930). Twice Sold, Twice Ransomed: Autobiography of Mr. and Mrs. L. P. Ray. Introduction by C. E. McReynolds. Illustrated. Chicago: Free Methodist Publishing House, 1926. Reprinted Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1971. Former Missouri slave, evangelist, revival leader, faith healer, missionary, and WCTU activist; describes her community and religious work, especially in Seattle after 1889; affiliated with the A.M.E. and Free Methodist church.
- Robinson, W[illiam] H. (b. 1848). From Log Cabin to the Pulpit; or Fifteen Years in Slavery. Illustrated. Eau Claire, WI: James H. Tifft, 1913. Former NC and VA slave, served in Confederate and Union Armies in Civil War, and converted in 1877 serving as both a Baptist and an A.M.E. preacher and circuit pastor in the Midwest.
- Smith, Amanda Berry (1837-1915). The Story of the Lord’s Dealings with Mrs. Amanda Smith, the Colored Evangelist: Containing an Account of Her Life Work of Faith, and Her Travels in America, England, Ireland, Scotland, India and Africa, as an Independent Missionary: An Autobiography. Introduction by J.M. Thoburn. Illustrated. Chicago: Meyer & Brother, 1893. Reprinted Northbrook, IL: Metro Books, 1969. [avail in first edition] Former MD slave, A.M.E. evangelist, faith healer, and missionary.
- Smith, David (b. 1784). Biography of Rev. David Smith, of the A.M.E. Church; Being a Complete History Embracing Over Sixty Years’ Labor in the Advancement of the Redeemer’s Kingdom on Earth. Including “The History of the Origin and Development of Wilberforce University.” Xenia, OH: Xenia Gazette Office, 1881. Reprinted Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1971. Former MD slave and an A.M.E. minister in Xenia, OH; also tells of his church work in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Ohio; essay about Wilberforce is by Daniel Payne.
- Smith, Harry (b. 1815). Fifty Years of Slavery in the United States of America. Illustrated. Grand Rapids, MI: West Michigan Printing Co.,1891. [available in 1969 reprint] Former Kentucky slave, describes slave life, and later his business ventures in Indianapolis and Michigan.
- Smith, James Lindsey (1816?-1883?). Autobiography of James L. Smith, Including, Also, Reminiscences of Slave Life, Recollections of the War, Education of Freedmen, Causes of the Exodus, Etc. Illustrated. Norwich, CN: Press of the Bulletin Co., 1881. Reprinted Miami, FL: Mnemosyne Publishing, 1969. Reprinted New York: Negro Universities Press, 1970. Reprinted in Five Black Lives: The Autobiographies of Venture Smith, James Mars, William Grimes, the Rev. G. W. Offley, James L. Smith. Middletown, CN: Wesleyan UP, 1971. [avail in facsimile of 1881 ed. and 1969 reprint] Shoemaker and Methodist minister in Norwich, CN; former Virginia slave, escaped to New England in 1838, describes his experiences as a freeman.
- Stroyer, Jacob (1846-1908). Sketches of My Life in the South. Introductions by Henry K. Oliver and E. C. Bolles. Salem, MA: Salem Press, 1879. Reprinted as My Life in the South. Salem, MA: Newcomb & Gaus, 1898. Reprinted in Five Slave Narratives: A Compendium. New York: Arno Press, 1968. [available in 3rd edition (1889) and 4th edition (1898)] An A.M.E. minister in Salem, MA discusses his slave life in South Carolina until the Civil War.
- Walker, Thomas Calhoun (1862-1953). The Honey-Pod Tree: The Life Story of Thomas Calhoun Walker. As narrated to Florence L. Lattimore. New York: John Day, 1958. [available in first edition] Virginia politician, civic leader, and US Government administrator who was a former slave and later educated at Hampton Institute.
- Ward, Samuel Ringgold (b. 1817). Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro. Illustrated. London: John Snow, 1855. Reprinted New York: Arno Press, 1968. Former MD slave and ordained Congregational minister recounts his experiences prior to and following his escape from slavery.
- Washington, Booker Taliaferro (1856-1915). My Larger Education: Being Chapters from My Experience. Illustrated. New York: Doubleday, Page, 1911. Reprinted Miami, FL: Mnemosyne Publishing, 1969. [available in first edition] Elaborates on Washington’s experiences as principal of Tuskegee Institute (unchronological).
- Washington, Booker Taliaferro (1856-1915). The Story of My Life and Work. Introduction by J. L. M. Curry. Illustrated. Naperville, IL: J. L. Nichols & Co., 1900. Revised and reprinted Naperville, IL: J.L. Nichols & Co., 1901. Revised and reprinted Naperville, IL: J.L. Nichols & Co., 1915. Reprinted New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969. Reprinted in The Booker T. Washington Papers, Vol. 1, The Autobiographical Writings. Edited by Louis R. Harlan et al. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1972. [available in first edition and early second edition (1901)] Former Virginia slave turned one of most well-known racial spokesmen; educated at Hampton Institute; first principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute.
- Wells [Barnett], Ida B. (1862-1931). Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. Edited and Introduction by Alfreda M. Duster. Foreword by John Hope Franklin. Illustrated. Bibliography. Index. Chicago: University of Chicago P, 1970. Born a slave in Mississippi; later a noted civil rights worker, civic leader, teacher, newspaper editor, and journalist; active in the NAACP; discusses her life through 1921 and 1927.
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