Slavery/ The Life Of Olaudah Equiano term paper 14585

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Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano was born in Iseeke, Nigeria a gold -coast african villiage, sold into slavery to another village, moved to another village as a slave , and finally captured and sold to the European slavers. Equiano was bought by Michael Henry Pascal, a British naval officer, who names him Gustavus Vassa and takes him to England .He composed the first ever slave autobiography as a freed slave living in England. The Life of Gustavus Vassa (Gustavus Vassa the name given to him by his slave owner), became a best seller in its time, both in England and America, and fueled a young but growing anti-slavery movement . Equiano narrates his life. Equiano eventually ended up in the West Indies. While a slave he adopts capitalist mercantilism and his owner sends him up and down the coast of America moving goods.

The slave trade began long before Europeans reached the New World. In 1505 the Spanish crown sent seventeen black slaves mostly born in Spain or Portugal , to the island of Hispaniola. While employed in this activity, he becomes a small-time merchant himself and raises enough money to buy back his freedom. Then he returns to England where he composes his autobiography. By 1839 Pope Gregory XVI condemed the slave trade and only the Civil War would stop the spread of slavery in the United States.

His characteristic is his curiosity, he often gets enraged about he injustices and quotes Milton, and speeches given by Satan and the rebellious angels.


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