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Fifty Years in Chains – Or, the Life of an American Slave - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Fifty Years in Chains: Or, the Life of an American Slave

Charles Ball


This book was an abridged and unauthorized reprint of the earlier Slavery in the United States (1836). The narratives describe experiences as a slave, including the uncertainty of slave life and the ways in which the slaves are forced to suffer inhumane conditions. The text recounts the qualities of the various masters and the ways in which fortune depended on their temperament. As slave narrative scholar William L. Andrews has noted, the author's oft-repeated narrative directly influenced the manner and matter of later fugitive slave narratives.

Keywords: narratives, slavery, slaves, fugitive, inhumane conditions, temperament

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9781469607849
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014 DOI:10.5149/9781469607856_Ball


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Charles Ball, author

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