New Arrival

My Bondage and My Freedom: Part I - Life as a Slave, Part II - Life as a Freeman...with an Introduction by Dr.James M'Cune Smith.

New York and Auburn: Miller, Orton and Mulligan. New York: 25 Park Row.-Auburn: 107 Genesee-st, 1855.

Price: $6,500.00


About the item

First Edition. Frontispiece, plates. xxxi, 464 pp. With 4pp ads in the rear. 1 vols. 8vo. Publisher's brown cloth, blocked in blind, some chipping at head and tail of spine and worn at edges and corners, repairs to tears at backstrip. Usual foxing and browning. Blockson 9717.

Item #368755

Douglass published his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life..., in 1845 in which he described his years in captivity in Maryland and his eventual escape and involvement in the abolition movement. "Published seven years after the author escaped slavery. It is probably the best known narrative of the ante-bellum period" (Blockson).

Ten years later, he heavily revised and expanded his autobiography as the present My Bondage and My Freedom. Almost three times the length of the Narrative, My Bondage provides considerably more detail about Douglass' enslavement and escape and includes events which had occurred between 1845 and 1855 as a free man. Notably, the book also includes an appendix with extracts from some of Douglass notable speeches, including both his famous "Letter to His Old Master" and "What to to the Slave is the Fourth of July." The work also includes a new introduction by African American abolitionist James McCune Smith, whom Douglass described as "the single most important influence" on his life. The book was an instant bestseller, selling around 5,000 copies in two days.