Henry Box Brown

From Slavery to Show Business

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About the Book

Henry Box Brown is well-known in America for remarkably escaping slavery by being nailed up in a box and posted from Virginia to Philadelphia. The passing of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 made it unsafe for Brown to remain in America so he relocated to England. There, he had a very successful career, initially as a speaker on abolitionism, before he began speaking on other subjects and then branched out into other forms of entertainment including as a magician. He married again to Jane Floyd, who, along with their children, appeared in his acts. With his wife and surviving children, he returned to America in 1875 finally moving to Canada, where he died.
This book tells his story, concentrating on the relatively unknown period of his life in Britain, detailing both how he was received and how he developed as a performer. It is the biography of a brave, intelligent individualist who was always willing to learn and to take chances, becoming the first black man to achieve landmarks in British law and entertainment.

About the Author(s)

Kathleen Chater worked at the BBC until 1994 and is now an independent scholar who lives in London. She has written numerous books, articles and reviews on a wide range of historical topics.

Bibliographic Details

Kathleen Chater
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 20 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7922-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3943-7
Imprint: McFarland