Abolitionism and William Wells Brown

987 WordsSep 29, 20104 Pages
Also, in Clotel; or, The President's Daughter: A Narrative of Slave Life in the United States (1853), the first African American novel, Brown relates the story of Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave mistress Sally Hemings (1773–1835). Originally published in England, the novel eventually came to U.S. readers, but only after it had been significantly revised, with references to the president removed. Much like the evolution of Douglass's anti-slavery agenda, Brown began his career as a pacifist who boycotted political abolitionism in the 1840s, but his writings over the course of the following decade reflect his growing militancy and preference for political activism to end slavery. Slave narratives have clear political and…show more content…
Most significantly, though, her exchanges with Beecher compelled Grimké to develop an extensive defense of her position, which led her to articulate a more secular argument against slavery as well as a firmer assertion of women's political rights. William Wells Brown wrote Clotel or The President's Daughter, a (fiction) novel based on the rumors surrounding Thomas Jefferson's affair with Sally Hemings, his slave. Brown learned of the scandal while working in several antislavery activities following his escape from slavery in 1834. Brown wanted not only to improve the social status of blacks and to support abolition through his writing, but also to encourage his readers to "develop a skeptical relationship to glorified stories of the national past" (Levine 15). He chose to write a novel that not only questioned slavery, but also questioned the validity of the principles that this nation was founded on. William Wells Brown was an additional key person slave-born child in the early 1800's in Kentucky. Later, William moved to Missouri with his slave master and then sold to another plantation where he was abused. Mister Brown escaped from Cincinnati, after being sold the second time. After reaching freedom, William helped 69 slaves to freedom (Sawyer,
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