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Approx. 239 pp., 6 x 9, 1 halftone

ISBN  978-1-4696-0784-9
Published: December 2012

Fifty Years in Chains

Or, the Life of an American Slave

By Charles Ball

Fifty Years in Chains: Or, the Life of an American Slave (1859) was an abridged and unauthorized reprint of the earlier Slavery in the United States (1836). In the narratives, Ball describes his experiences as a slave, including the uncertainty of slave life and the ways in which the slaves are forced to suffer inhumane conditions. He recounts the qualities of his various masters and the ways in which his fortune depended on their temperament. As slave narrative scholar William L. Andrews has noted, Ball's oft-repeated narrative directly influenced the manner and matter of later fugitive slave narratives.

A DOCSOUTH BOOK. This collaboration between UNC Press and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library brings selected classic works from the digital library of Documenting the American South back into print. DocSouth Books uses the latest digital technologies to make these works available as downloadable e-books or print-on-demand publications. DocSouth Books are unaltered from the original publication, providing affordable and easily accessible editions to a new generation of scholars, students, and general readers.

About the Author

Charles Ball was born on a tobacco plantation in Calvert County, Maryland, in 1781 and escaped from slavery in 1809.

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