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Children and Youth in a New Nation$
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James Marten

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757420

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757420.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

A Stolen Life

A Stolen Life

Excerpts from the Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave, Written by Himself (1847)

(p.242) 13 A Stolen Life
Children and Youth in a New Nation

James Marten

NYU Press

This chapter presents excerpts from a memoir written by William W. Brown, a former slave. His early life was shaped by two constants: the instability of his personal life and his determination to escape. And the autobiography, as with dozens of other memoirs of former slaves published in the decades prior to the Civil War by abolitionist societies, indicts the institution of slavery for its particular cruelty to children and for its destruction of slave families and homes. These excerpts took place before Brown turned eighteen, and showed how he had lived a varied life as a slave child. Brown had worked on riverboats, and thus experienced more cruelty and seen more varieties of slavery than most bondspeople ever would.

Keywords:   William W. Brown, memoir, autobiography, slavery, slave families, slave child, abolitionism

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