The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave

The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave

3.91 (23 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


John Thompson was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation in 1812. Originally published in 1856, "The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave" chronicles his enslavement, his escape, and his life in the North, where he lived as a free man until fear of recapture drove him to flee once again - this time to sea aboard the Milwood, a whaling vessel. The only fugitive slave narrator to report a whaling voyage, Thompson crafted from his seafaring experience an allegorical sermon that caps his Life and renders it a kind of African American Pilgrim's Progress, as well as a narrative of struggle with, escape from, and triumph over American slavery.
show more

Out of ideas for the holidays?

Visit our Gift Guides and find our recommendations on what to get friends and family during the holiday season. Shop now .

Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 171 x 198 x 10mm | 122g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143106422
  • 9780143106425
  • 1,197,847

About John Thompson

John Thompson was born into slavery on the Wagar plantation in Maryland in 1812. He was one of seven children. He remained there until the death of Mrs. Wagar in October 1822, when Thompson and his family were sold to Mr. George Thomas, an even crueler master than Wager had been. John Thompson, who had been taught to write in secret by Wager's son, was then shuffled from plantation to plantation before moving further south to Mississippi, when he escaped to the North. He settled in Pennsylvania, where he married and found work. He joined a whaling vessel to avoid arrest and remained at sea for several years. Ultimately, Thompson gave up sea-faring and moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, where his narrative was published in 1856. He died only four years later in 1860. William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English and Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W. E. B Du Bois institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
show more

Rating details

23 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 30% (7)
4 35% (8)
3 30% (7)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X