Olaudah Equiano Books & Biography
Born in Nigeria in 1745, Olaudah Equiano was a well-known African abolitionist. Equiano was shipped to the West Indies as a child-slave, and then to England where he was purchased by Lieutenant Michael Pascal and trained as a seaman before serving in The Seven Years’ War. At the conclusion of hostilities, Pascal did not free Equiano as promised, but instead sold him to Captain James Doran who then sold Equiano to James King, a merchant from Philadelphia. In 1765, King let Equiano purchase his freedom for forty pounds, and helped him earn money in his stead as a merchant. Now a free man, Equiano returned to London where he made significant contributions to the abolitionist movement, and published his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, which influenced the Slave Trade Act of 1807. Equiano is believed to have died in 1797 at the age of 52.