or, The President's Daughter
William Wells Brown, though born into slavery, escaped to become one of the most prominent reformers of the nineteenth century and one of the earliest historians of the black experience. This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition reproduces the first, 1853, edition of Clotel and includes, as did that edition, his autobiographical narrative, "The Life and Escape of William Wells Brown," plus newly written notes.
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"Why stands she near the auction stand,
That girl so young and fair?
What brings her to this dismal place,
Why stands she weeping there?"
With the growing population of slaves in the Southern States of America,
there is a fearful increase of half whites, most of...
1. As William Wells Brown himself notes, Clotel is a text that freely borrows from and conjoins other texts, including Lydia Marie Child's "The Quadroon" (1842) and Brown's own writings. As he writes in his "Conclusion," "To Ms. Child I am indebted for part of a short story. Abolitionist...
--Henry Louis Gates, Jr.