Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave

Henry Bibb (1815 - 1854)

Henry Walton Bibb was born a slave. His father was white although his identity was not positively known. Bibb was separated from his mother at a very young age and hired out to other slave owners for most of his childhood. Always yearning for his freedom, he made his first escape from slavery in 1842. He was recaptured and escaped, recaptured and escaped over and over; but he never gave up on his desire to be a man in control of his own destiny.

Bibb eventually escaped the bondage of servitude for good and dedicated his life to speaking out against the institution of slavery. In the process he helped others obtain their freedom. He published Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, and American Slave in 1849 telling the story of his daily life as a slave, as a runaway and as a free man. He also illustrated the depravity of that “man-destroying system” and the “idea of utter helplessness in perpetual bondage.”

Bibb stated in his Author's Preface that there were other very popular slave narratives published before his own; nevertheless, the uniqueness of his story is in the details of his experiences which, like the others, shine a glaringly truthful beam of light on the sins of this nation. Ultimately Bibb made his way to Canada where in 1851 he published the first black newspaper of that Country, Voice of the Fugitive. He died in 1854 at the age of 39. (Introduction by James K. White)

Genre(s): Biography & Autobiography

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Introduction; Report; Author's Preface James K. White
Play 01 Chapter I James K. White
Play 02 Chapter II James K. White
Play 03 Chapter III James K. White
Play 04 Chapter IV James K. White
Play 05 Chapter V James K. White
Play 06 Chapter VI James K. White
Play 07 Chapter VII James K. White
Play 08 Chapter VIII James K. White
Play 09 Chapter IX James K. White
Play 10 Chapter X James K. White
Play 11 Chapter XI James K. White
Play 12 Chapter XII James K. White
Play 13 Chapter XIII James K. White
Play 14 Chapter XIV James K. White
Play 15 Chapter XV James K. White
Play 16 Chapter XVI James K. White
Play 17 Chapter XVII James K. White
Play 18 Chapter XVIII James K. White
Play 19 Chapter XIX James K. White
Play 20 Chapter XX James K. White