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Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb

Henry Bibb

Book Overview: 

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.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .This is the regulation and law of American Slavery, as sanctioned by the Government of the United States, and without which it could not exist. And almost the whole moral, political, and religious power of the nation are in favor of slavery and aggression, and against liberty and justice. I only judge by their actions, which speak louder than words. Slaveholders are put into the highest offices in the gift of the people in both Church and State, thereby making slaveholding popular and reputable.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Police peculiar to the South.



[pg 26] CHAPTER III.

My Courtship and Marriage.—Change of owner.—My first born.—Its sufferings.—My wife abused.—My own anguish.

THE circumstances of my courtship and marriage, I consider to be among the most remarkable events of my life while a slave. To think that after I had determined to carry out the great idea which is s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

American slavery, what a subject!

Gruesome account, unbelievable torment.
Reaches the the edges of reality with respect to how inhumane slavery can become.

Really passionate.

This man is woefully underrated. His experiences should be required reading. There is some hyperbole, and some of the narrative was fitted to meet the needs of the abolitionist movement at the time of publication, but the majority of this work has been verified as accurate. A primary source on th...more

I don't remember the details, but I do remember it was a fast-paced engaging read. I think Bibb was one of the few slaves to give a narrative either after living in the deep south or being slave to an American Indian. For that reason alone this is a standout among slave narratives. Beyond that, i...more

Quotable:

Reader, believe me when I say, that no tongue, nor pen ever has or can express the horrors of American Slavery.

In this novel former slave Henry Bibb discusses his life as a slave on a Kentucky plantation. Henry Bibb was born to Mildred Jackson and James Bibb a white man. at age 10 Henry attempts to escape slavery. He later moves to Missouri where he gets married to another slave named Malinda and they hav...more

Read this!

I have read a number of slave autobiographies and this was by far the best. Somehow the visceral feel of this state was made so clear in this book. Having every indignity of physical, emotional and sexual nature put one or watching this done to others without being able to lift a finger...more

My heart is heavy.

Simply engaging; everyone should read it.

This is one of the those books that everyone should read.