• Preface by the Author

  • Author

    Reader be assured this narrative is no fiction.

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  • I am aware that some of my adventures may seem incredible;

  • but they are, nevertheless, strictly true.

  • I have not exaggerated the wrongs inflicted by Slavery;

  • on the contrary, my descriptions fall far short of the facts.

  • I have concealed the names of places, and given persons fictitious names.

  • I had no motive for secrecy on my own account, but I deemed it kind and considerate towards others to pursue this course.

  • Author

    I wish I were more competent to the task I have undertaken.

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  • But I trust my readers will excuse deficiencies in consideration of circumstances.

  • I was born and reared in Slavery;

  • and I remained in a Slave State twenty-seven years.

  • Since I have been at the North, it has been necessary for me to work diligently for my own support, and the education of my children.

  • This has not left me much leisure to make up for the loss of early opportunities to improve myself;

  • and it has compelled me to write these pages at irregular intervals, whenever I could snatch an hour from household duties.

  • Author

    When I first arrived in Philadelphia, Bishop Paine advised me to publish a sketch of my life, but I told him I was altogether incompetent to such an undertaking.

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  • Though I have improved my mind somewhat since that time, I still remain of the same opinion;

  • but I trust my motives will excuse what might otherwise seem presumptuous.

  • I have not written my experiences in order to attract attention to myself;

  • on the contrary, it would have been more pleasant to me to have been silent about my own history.