About Olaudah Equiano Biography Olaudah Equiano — was an 18th-century African writer and anti-slavery campaigner. From an early age, Olaudah Equiano experienced the horrors of slavery first hand.
When he was around the age of eleven, he and his sister were left alone to look after their family premises — as was common when adults went out of the house to work. They were both kidnapped and taken far away from their hometown of Essaka, separated and sold to slave traders.
After changing ownership several times, Equiano met his sister again, but they were separated once more, and he was taken across a large river to the coast, where he was held by European slave traders. He and a few other slaves were sent further away to the British colony of Virginia. Literary scholar Vincent Carretta argued in his biography of Equiano that the activist could have been born in colonial South Carolina rather than Africa based on his discovery of a parish baptismal record that lists Equiano's place of birth as Carolina and a ship's muster that indicates South Carolina.
Pascal renamed the boy "Gustavus Vassa", after the Swedish noble who had become Gustav I of Swedenking in the sixteenth century. This time, Equiano refused and told his new owner that he would prefer to be called Jacob. His refusal, he says, "gained me many a cuff" — and eventually he submitted to the new name.: He only used Equiano in his autobiography.
Also trained in seamanship, Equiano was expected to assist the ship's crew in times of battle; his duty was to haul gunpowder to the gun decks. Pascal favoured Equiano and sent him to his sister-in-law in Great Britain so that he could attend school and learn to read and write.
At this time, Equiano converted to Christianity. He was baptised at St Margaret's, Westminsteron 9 Februarywhen he was described in the parish register as "a Black, born in Carolina, 12 years old". They had taken an interest in him and helped him to learn English. Later, when Equiano's origins were questioned after his book was published, the Guerins testified to his lack of English when he first came to London.
Equiano sold fruits, glass tumblers, and other items between Georgia and the Caribbean islands. King allowed Equiano to buy his freedom, which he achieved in The merchant urged Equiano to stay on as a business partner.
However, Equiano found it dangerous and limiting to remain in the British colonies as a freedman. While loading a ship in Georgia, he was almost kidnapped back into enslavement. Freedom[ edit ] By aboutEquiano had gone to England. He continued to work at sea, travelling sometimes as a deckhand based in England.
In on the British Royal Navy ship Racehorse, he travelled to the Arctic in an expedition to find a northern route to India. Charles Irving, who had developed a process to distill seawater and later made a fortune from it.
Two years later, Irving recruited Equiano for a project on the Mosquito Coast in Central America, where he was to use his African background to help select slaves and manage them as labourers on sugar cane plantations. Irving and Equiano had a working relationship and friendship for more than a decade, but the plantation venture failed.
He continued his travels, visiting Philadelphia in and New York in The movement to end the slave trade had been particularly strong among Quakers, but the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was founded in as a non-denominational group, with Anglican members, in an attempt to influence parliament directly.
At the time, Quakers were prohibited from being elected as MPs. Equiano had become a Methodisthaving been influenced by George Whitefield 's evangelism in the New World.
As early asEquiano informed abolitionists such as Granville Sharp about the slave trade; that year he was the first to tell Sharp about the Zong massacrewhich was being tried in London as litigation for insurance claims. He was supported financially in this effort by philanthropic abolitionists and religious benefactors.
His lectures and preparation for the book were promoted by, among others, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon. Memoir[ edit ] Plaque at Riding House StreetLondon, noting the place where Equiano lived and published his narrative.Olaudah Equiano was born in approximately in what is now Nigeria.
He wrote an autobiography about his life, which recounts being kidnapped from Africa as a child and sold into slavery.
Olaudah Equiano (ca. ) was an African slave, freedman, and author who wrote the first outstanding autobiography in slave narrative literature. Olaudah Equiano was born at Essaka, an Ibo village (not now known) in the Benin Province of present-day Nigeria. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano study guide contains a biography of Olaudah Equiano, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and ana. Olaudah Equiano was born in approximately in what is now Nigeria. He wrote an autobiography about his life, which recounts being kidnapped from Africa as a child and sold into slavery.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano study guide contains a biography of Olaudah Equiano, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Olaudah Equiano: An Illustrated Biography Almost everything we know about the first ten years of Equiano's life we find from Equiano's own account in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, published in Olaudah Equiano, was a former enslaved African, seaman and merchant who wrote an autobiography depicting the horrors of slavery and lobbied Parliament for its abolition.
In his biography, he records he was born in what is now Nigeria, kidnapped and sold into slavery as a child. Olaudah Equiano did not have a typical childhood. He was born some time around the year in the Kingdom of Benin, an area found in present-day Nigeria. His father was a local chief of the Ibo.
Olaudah Equiano, was a former enslaved African, seaman and merchant who wrote an autobiography depicting the horrors of slavery and lobbied Parliament for its abolition. In his biography, he records he was born in what is now Nigeria, kidnapped and sold into slavery as a child.