Brown, William Wells

Life Span
    Full name
    William Wells Brown
    Place of Birth
    Birth Date Certainty
    Death Date Certainty
    Mixed (Mulatto)
    Sectional choice
    Slave State
    No. of Siblings
    Writer or Artist
    Other Occupation
    Relation to Slavery
    Slave or Former Slave
    Other Affiliations
    Abolitionists (Anti-Slavery Society)

    William Wells Brown (American National Biography)

    In January 1834 Brown made another, this time successful, attempt to escape, crossing the Ohio River to Cincinnati and on to Cleveland…During his years in Cleveland, Brown worked as a boatman on Lake Erie and was an active member of the local Underground Railroad, ferrying fugitives across the lake to Canada. He was also active in local and regional abolitionist associations and the Negro Convention Movement. He was employed as a lecturing agent by the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society in 1843 and later in a similar position by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. These agencies aimed to spread the abolitionist message throughout the state, in small towns and hamlets, in an attempt to persuade their listeners to join the anti-slavery cause. By the latter part of the decade, he had become a major figure in the American abolitionist movement.

    Brown's Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave, Written by Himself was published in 1847 and became an immediate bestseller; 3,000 copies of the first edition were sold in six months. The book went through four editions in two years with sales of 10,000 copies. Brown's rise to prominence in abolitionist circles and the success of his book led to his appointment as a delegate to the Peace Congress in Paris in 1849. Presided over by French author Victor Hugo, the congress was attended by 800 delegates…After the meeting, Brown went to London, where he spent the next five years working to win British support for the American abolitionist movement.
    R. J. M. Blackett, "Brown, William Wells," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
    Chicago Style Entry Link
     Brown, William Wells.  The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements.  Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1863.
    view record
    Brown, William Wells. My Southern Home: or, The South and Its People. Boston: A. G. Brown & Co., 1880. view record
    Brown, William Wells. Narrative of William W. Brown, an American Slave. Written by Himself. Boston: Anti-Slavery Office, 1847. view record
    Falk, Leslie A. "Black Abolitionist Doctors and Healers, 1810-1885." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 54, no. 2 (1980): 258-272. view record
    How to Cite This Page: "Brown, William Wells," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,