Friday, December 28, 2007


BROWN, WILLIAM WELLS William Wells Brown (1815-1884) was a pioneer black novelist, dramatist and travel writer. Born in Kentucky as a slave, Brown escaped bondage when he fled to Canada in 1834. While in Canada, he worked as a steward on Lake Erie ships and, in the meantime, became self-educated. In 1849, he traveled to Europe, where he stayed for five years. His sojourn in Europe provided him with the material needed to publish a travel book (Three Years in Europe, 1852), the first published by an African American. In addition to this achieve­ment, Brown is credited with having written the first novel (Clotel, or the President's Daughter, 1853) and the first drama (The Escape, 1858) published by a black American.

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