Friday, December 28, 2007
BROWN, WILLIAM WELLS
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.