Austin Steward
Credit: Internet Archive and Library of Congress
Original Author: J.C. Buttre, engraver
Created: 1857
Medium: Prints/Drawings, Engraving

Austin Steward

This engraving, published as the frontispiece of the book Twenty-Two Years a Slave, and Forty Years a Freeman, depicts the author, Austin Steward, as he appeared ca. 1857. Steward, born in Prince William County, spent the first twenty-two years of his life enslaved. In 1813, while hired out to a farmer in New York State, he learned that he was being held in bondage under illegal circumstances, and with the support of the New York Manumission Society, escaped. He dedicated the rest of his life to antislavery and temperance work, editing Black publications, organizing Black political conventions, and eventually publishing his own biographical narrative.