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PORTRAIT BY PATRICK REASON (NARRATIVES.) BIBB, WILLIAM. Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, written by Himself. Ten pages of testimonials preceding Chapter I. Copper engraved frontispiece portrait by Patrick Reason; eleven full-page engravings, and seven half-page head and tail-pieces. Small 8vo, original gilt and blind-stamped black cloth, with a very elaborate gilt floral design on the spine; bottom of rear hinge expertly repaired; foxing through most of the text, still a very nice copy. New York: Published by the Author, 1850
third stereotype edition of one of the best and rarest of verifiable narratives, with the added distinction of bearing a fine frontispiece portrait, engraved by the first African American illustrator, Patrick H. Reason. Henry Walton Bibb (1815-1854), author, publisher, lecturer and activist was born into slavery, purportedly the son of Kentucky Senator James Bibb. He begins his narrative "I was brought up in the Counties of Shelby, Henry, Oldham, and Trimble. Or, more correctly, I was flogged up." There follows a well-written account of tyrannical masters and mistresses, multiple escapes and beatings. But the more Bibb was punished, the more he was inspired to run. Bibb married twice, the first time while still a slave. He escaped but had to leave his wife and daughter behind. Once free in Cincinnati Ohio, he had a plan to reunite with his wife and daughter, but was betrayed by two men posing as abolitionists who sold him back into slavery. Bibb escaped again, and finally made it to Canada, where he published The Voice of the Fugitive, the first black newspaper there. LCP 1153; not in Blockson Collection.a rare book in any edition.