Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave by William L. Andrews
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Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave
By William L. Andrews

Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave

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Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave by William L. Andrews

Book Description

Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave is the first fugitive slave narrative in American history. When it appeared in New York in 1825, it was the longest African American autobiography published up to that time. Because Grimes wrote and published his narrative on his own, without deference to white editors, publishers, or sponsors, his Life has an immediacy, candor, and no-holds-barred realism unparalleled in antebellum slave narratives. The famous fugitives of the 1840s and 1850s, even Douglass, Brown, and Harriet Jacobs, all wrote in accordance with an antislavery script that circumscribed their freedom to speak out about what they had experienced as slaves in the South and as quasi-free men and women in the North. William Grimes, however, wrote before this formulaic script had been composed. Life appeared years before the advent of any organized national American antislavery movement, before David Walker's Appeal (1829), before the first African American newspaper, before William Lloyd Garrison had publicly acknowledged himself an abolitionist, before Frederick Douglass could read the word "abolitionist." Beholden to no one and unschooled in antislavery propaganda, Grimes's Life represents a truly unfiltered and personally authentic account of both southern slavery and the severely compromised "freedom" of the northern states in antebellum America. This edition of Life of William Grimes represents an historic partnership between a prominent scholar of the African American slave narrative and a genealogist who is also direct descendant of Grimes himself. Regina Mason, the great-great-great-granddaughter of William Grimes, combines her extensive historical research into her family and the text of her ancestor with William L. Andrews's scholarship on the origins and development of African American autobiography. The result is an authoritative, copiously annotated text that features pages from an original Grimes family Bible, transcriptions of the 1824 correspondence that set the terms for the author's self-purchase in Connecticut (nine years after his escape from Savannah, Georgia), and many other striking images that invoke the life and times of William Grimes.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195343311
ISBN-10: 019534331X
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 146mm x 18mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 4-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author William L. Andrews

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by William L. Andrews Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Paperback (December 2016)

This revision of the acclaimed and widely-assigned Norton Critical Edition of Frederick Douglass' autobiography includes key examples of literary and cultural analyses that have engaged scholars over the last three decades.

Slave Narratives After Slavery by William L. Andrews Slave Narratives After Slavery, Paperback (May 2011)

Slave Narratives After Slavery provides the complete original text of five overlooked slave narratives that appeared between Reconstruction and the turn of the twentieth century, offering historical introductions and suggested further readings for each.

Up from Slavery by William L. Andrews Up from Slavery, Paperback (September 2008)

2008 reissue of the 19th century classic.

» View all books by William L. Andrews

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Author Biography - William L. Andrews

William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English and Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt (1980) and To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography, 1760-1865 (1986). He is co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature (1997) and The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (2003), and general editor of The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1998). Regina E. Mason, Grimes's great-great-great-granddaughter, has spent fifteen years exploring the life and times of autobiographer William Grimes, his wife, their children, and the communities in which they lived. She enjoys genealogy and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

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Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave by Regina E. Mason
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