Feb 26, 2009 - Sale 2171

Sale 2171 - Lot 194

Price Realized: $ 2,640
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
FREDERICK DOUGLASS'S ONLY PIECE OF FICTION DOUGLASS, FREDERICK. The Heroic Slave, a 74 page novella [printed in] Autographs for Freedom, Edited by Julia Griffiths. Frontispiece and one additional plate. 8vo, original blind-stamped cloth; some minor repair to the head and heel of the spine, some slight and occasional foxing, otherwise a very nice copy with the gilt on the spine bright and fresh. Boston: Jewett, 1853

Additional Details

first edition. Douglass''s novella "The Heroic Slave" was his contribution to the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society''s collection entitled "Autographs for Freedom." Douglass''s only attempt at fiction, it was a dramatization of the events surrounding an actual slave rebellion led by Madison Washington on the slave-ship "Creole." On November 7, 1841, while en route from Virginia to New Orleans, the crew was overtaken by a group of the slaves being transported who re-directed the vessel to the British free port of Nassau. Once there, the British authorities detained nineteen identified leaders of the rebellion. All remaining passengers, both crew and slave were allowed to disembark freely. Five months later, the nineteen slaves, including Madison Washington, were set free due to "lack of evidence." Published the same year as William Wells Brown''s "Clotelle," Douglass''s novella shares the honor of being one of the first two substantial pieces of fiction written by an African-American author. Blockson, 9204; LCP Afro-Americana, 4370.