Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown
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In 1849, Henry Brown escaped from slavery by shipping himself in a three-foot-by-two-foot wooden crate from Virginia to an anti-slavery office in Philadelphia. Twenty-seven hours and 350 miles later, Brown stepped out of his box to begin a new life. This is his memoir, originally published in 1851 in England, as fresh and compelling today as it was 150 years ago. This extraordinary narrative paints an indelible portrait of life in slavery. With a keen sense of irony, Brown examines the "peculiar institution"—from the hypocrisy of slave-owning Christian preachers, to the system of bribery that forced slaves to purchase the rights to their own belongings, to the practice of separating slave families with no warning. The story also describes one of the most audacious, creative escapes ever completed. A classic slave narrative, it makes for unforgettable reading.