This autobiography of John Brown, who spent thirty years as a slave in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia was published in London in 1855 by the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, and again in 1972 and 1991 by Beehive Press. For the introduction in our 1991 reissue (now out of print), F. N. Boney, University of Georgia, researched records which show that this is an authentic historical source and no mere fabrication of Abolitionist propagandists. This unique edition is accompanied by an extensive volume of footnotes and a lengthy bibliography.
An excerpt here from the Introduction in our print edition by F.N. Boney, University of Georgia:
“John Brown was a slave in Georgia during the prime of his life. He finally escaped bondage in the South, passed through the free states and settled in Canada, safe from American justice which could have returned him to slavery. Alone and homeless, he went to England where he worked at his slave learned trade of carpentry and served the abolition cause as a lecturer and author. [John Brown] died in obscurity in London in 1876, but he left behind a moving autobiography, a compelling story of his life as a slave and his eventual escape.
Like most other fugitive slave narratives, this book was a cooperative effort. An illiterate black man, known as Benford or Fed in slavery and renamed John Brown in freedom, dictated his memoirs to educated, cosmopolitan Louis Alexis Chamerovzow, Secretary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. Two men could hardly have been more different. Yet they were one in their opposition to slavery which, when Slave Life in Georgia appeared in 1855, was still a powerful, enduring force in the American South.”