Thirty Years a Slave

Thirty Years a Slave : From Bondage to Freedom

4.09 (233 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Louis Hughes was born a slave in Virginia and at age twelve was sold away from his mother, whom he never saw again. After a few interim owners, he was sold to a wealthy slaveowner and taken to Mississippi. Hughes was a house servant until near the end of the Civil War, when he escaped and then, in a daring adventure with the paid help of two Union soldiers, returned to the plantation for his wife. The couple made their way to Canada and after the war to Chicago and Detroit, eventually settling in Milwaukee. There Hughes became relatively comfortable as a hotel attendant and as an entrepreneur laundry operator. Self-educated and eloquent, Hughes wrote and privately published his memoir in 1897. It is a compelling account, by turns searing and compassionate about slavery, slaves, and slaveowners. No reader can be unmoved as Hughes tells about his five attempts to escape, about having to stand by helplessly while watching his wife whipped, of the joy of finally meeting again the brother whom he had not seen since they were little children in Virginia. Yet he also writes knowingly about the economics of slavery and the day-to-day business of the plantation, and the glass-house relationships between slaves and masters. Hughes died in Milwaukee in 1913.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • NewSouth Books
  • English
  • 1588382168
  • 9781588382160

Rating details

233 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 39% (90)
4 39% (92)
3 18% (41)
2 2% (4)
1 3% (6)
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