If you haven’t seen the notice on the Winslow House event calendar to the right, tonight at 6:00 PM, the Marshfield Ventress Library is hosting Winslow House Executive Director Aaron M. Dougherty for a lecture on the adventurous Briton Hammon, 18th century “servant” and Atlantic traveler.
Briton Hammon is considered one of the first black Americans to have a published autobiography, and the 1760 publication of his story is one of the first American slave narratives. Going to sea on a 1747 trading voyage, Briton would encounter Florida natives, Spanish governors and sailors, and French foes in a thirteen-year ordeal that saw him face death, torture, imprisonment and battle time and time again. Briton’s story was noticed because of an 18th century fascination with so-called “captivity narratives;” accounts of people of European and African descent imprisoned by American natives. In later decades, the life stories of slaves like Briton began to feature more prominently in the American consciousness, and help to fuel the growing American abolitionist movement.
If you miss tonight’s lecture, or are interested in reading about Briton’s story for yourself, please visit the links or find the books below for a look at this man’s fascinating thirteen-year adventure.
BRITON HAMMON SOURCES
Bolster, W. Jeffrey. 1998. Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Bradley, Johnathan. “Hammon, Briton.” Black Past.org.http://www.blackpast.org/aah/hammon-briton.
Goldstein, Karin. 1998. “Parlors and Garrets: The Winslow Family and Their Servants.” MayflowerQuarterly 64 (4).
Green, Keith Michael. 2014. “Uncommon Sufferings: Rethinking Bondage in A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprising Deliverance of Briton Hammon, a Negro.” InJourneys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas. University of Virginia Press.
Hammon, Briton. 1760. “A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprising Deliverance of Briton Hammon, a Negro Man”. Green & Russell. http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/hammon/menu.html.