Fifty Years in Chains, or, the Life of an American Slave

Fifty Years in Chains, or, the Life of an American Slave

Fifty Years in Chains, or, the Life of an American Slave

Fifty Years in Chains, or, the Life of an American Slave

Synopsis

Fifty Years in Chains: Or, the Life of an American Slave (1859) was an abridged and unauthorized reprint of the earlier Slavery in the United States (1836). In the narratives, Ball describes his experiences as a slave, including the uncertainty of slave life and the ways in which the slaves are forced to suffer inhumane conditions. He recounts the qualities of his various masters and the ways in which his fortune depended on their temperament. As slave narrative scholar William L. Andrews has noted, Ball's oft-repeated narrative directly influenced the manner and matter of later fugitive slave narratives.

A DOCSOUTH BOOK. This collaboration between UNC Press and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library brings selected classic works from the digital library of Documenting the American South back into print. DocSouth Books uses the latest digital technologies to make these works available as downloadable e-books or print-on-demand publications. DocSouth Books are unaltered from the original publication, providing affordable and easily accessible editions to a new generation of scholars, students, and general readers.

Excerpt

The story which follows is true in every particular Responsible citizens of a neighboring State can vouch for the reality of the narrative. the language of the slave has not at all times been strictly adhered to, as a half century of bondage unfitted him for literary work the subject of the story is still a slave by the laws of this country, and it would not be wise to reveal his name.

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