Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745-1797) was kidnapped as a boy in
what is now Nigeria and sold into slavery. He purchased his freedom in 1766 and subsequently settled in England, where he became an ardent and well-known abolitionist. In 1789, he published his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. The book played an important role in bringing the British slave trade to an end.
images: Pages from the first American edition of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, 1791. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.