Venture Smith: The First Slave Narrative

September 9, 2021 by Neely Tucker (Library of Congress)

About 20 people, casually dressed, pose behind two very old tombstones in a grassy cemetery with trees in the background

Descendants of Venture Smith gather at his gravesite in East Haddam, Connecticut, during the town’s 2019 Venture Smith Day. Photo courtesy of Venture Smith Day Celebration Committee.

Delighted to write this post with Mark Dimunation, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

“I was born at Dukandarra, in Guinea, about the year 1729.  My father’s name was Saungin Furro, Prince of the tribe of Dukandarra.”

That’s the opening line of Venture Smith’s “A Narrative of The Life And Adventures of Venture, A Native Of AfricaBut Resident Above Sixty Years in the United States of America,” the earliest slave narrative in the United States, published in 1798.

Read more HERE.

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