Twenty-Two Years a Slave, and Forty Years a Freeman is a slave narrative, detailing Austin Steward's early life of enslavement and escape, as well as his years of freedom and work at Wilber force Colony. Austin Steward (1793 - 1869) was an African-American abolitionist and author. He was born a slave and escaped from Virginia at about age 21, settling in Rochester, New York, and then Canada.
Originally published in 1861, Austin Steward's memoir has long been a staple source of first-hand evidence about activism against slavery and racism by freed blacks. This new edition of his classic narrative is stocked with details about the author's relationships with antislavery activists Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Nathaniel Paul, and Gerrit Smith. The book offers insight into the creation of African American community life in upstate New York and into the doomed black utopia of Wilberforce
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