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 Henry Box Brown  (1816 - )

About: Henry Box Brown


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Lived/Active: Virginia      Known for: panorama-slavery theme

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Henry Box Brown was born a slave Louisa County, Virginia, in 1815 (some say 1816).  He married a local slave, but in 1849 his wife and children were sold to a plantation owner in North Carolina.

Soon afterwards Brown decided to escape and with the help of a sympathetic tobacconist, he arranged to be sent in a box to James McKim, an anti-slavery campaigner in Pennsylvania and a member of the Underground Railroad. (Hence the name Henry Box).

Brown survived the journey and as well as becoming a well-known speaker for the Anti-Slavery Society, he wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown (1851).


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Often confused with Harrison Bird Brown, Henry Box Brown was a former slave and abolitionist who toured and lectured with a moving painted panorama show called the Mirror of Slavery, and it is sometimes assumed that he was a painter based upon this association, but he was not an artist per se.  He moved to England in 1850.

Courtesy, James Eason, Archivist for Pictorial Collections, The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley.

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