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Information about our holdings

New Image Guide: The Bondwoman’s Narrative

The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection is pleased to announce a new digital image guide: Hannah Crafts, The Bondwoman's Narrative (View all images)

"The Bondwoman’s Narrative," a fictionalized autobiography (c. 1850), is thought to be the first novel written by an African American woman, and the only known novel written by a fugitive slave.

Written in the gothic and sentimental style favored at the time, “The Bondwoman’s Narrative” is the story of a girl whose escape from a North Carolina plantation leads to a series of adventures and obstacles, including passing as a young white man and encounters with slave hunters tracking fugitive slaves. She eventually finds freedom and safety in the North. 

Gift of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Yale 1973).

View catalog record



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