ENTRY

Henry Box Brown (1815 or 1816–1897)

SUMMARY

Henry Box Brown was an abolitionist lecturer and performer. Born into slavery in Louisa County in 1815 or 1816, he worked in a Richmond tobacco factory and lived in a rented house with his wife and children. In 1848, his wife and children were sold away to North Carolina. Brown resolved to escape from slavery and enlisted the help of a free Black man and a white enslaver, who conspired to ship him in a box to Philadelphia. In March 1849 the package was accepted there by a leader of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. As a free man, Brown lectured across New England on the evils of slavery and participated in the publication of the Narrative of Henry Box Brown (1849). In 1850, a moving panorama, Henry Box Brown’s Mirror of Slavery, opened in Boston. That same year, Brown, worried that he might be reenslaved, moved to England, where he lectured, presented his panorama, and performed as a hypnotist. In 1875, he returned to the United States with his second wife and daughter and performed as a magician. Brown died in Toronto on June 15, 1897. He stands as a powerful symbol of the Underground Railroad and enslaved African Americans’ thirst for freedom.

READING LEVEL
Grade 4

Summary

Henry Box Brown was an antislavery speaker and performer. He was born in Louisa County, Virginia. Brown worked in a Richmond tobacco factory. In 1848, his wife and children were sold away to North Carolina. Brown decided to escape from slavery. Brown shipped himself in a box to Philadelphia to escape slavery. In 1849 the package was received by a leader of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. As a free man, Brown spoke across New England on the evils of slavery. He also helped publish the Narrative of Henry Box Brown (1849). In 1850, a moving panorama, Henry Box Brown’s Mirror of Slavery, opened in Boston. That same year, Brown worried that he might be reenslaved. He moved to England, where he spoke, presented his panorama, and performed as a hypnotist. In 1875, he returned to the United States with his wife and daughter Annie. Brown performed as a magician during that time. Brown died in Toronto on June 15, 1897. He stands as a powerful symbol of the Underground Railroad and enslaved African Americans’ fight for freedom.

In This Entry

Early Years and Escape

Henry Brown was born between 1815 and 1816. He was enslaved on a plantation in Louisa County. Many enslaved people did not know their parents or siblings. But Brown spent his early years with his parents and his four sisters and three brothers. They all were enslaved by John Barret, a former mayor of Richmond. After Barret’s death in 1830, Brown was separated from his family. He was sent to Richmond to work in a tobacco factory. Most of Brown’s brothers and sisters were sent to different plantations.

In 1836 Brown married an enslaved woman named Nancy. Nancy was owned by a different master. Together they had three children. The family joined the First African Baptist Church. Henry Brown sang in the church’s choir. He became a skilled tobacco worker and was able to earn some money. Eventually, he earned enough to rent a house for his family. In 1848, Nancy’s master sold her and their three children to another master in North Carolina. At the time, she was pregnant with a fourth child.

After mourning his loss, Brown decided to escape from slavery. A fellow member of the church choir, James Caesar Anthony Smith (a free Black man), helped him get started. Together, they contacted Samuel Alexander Smith. Samuel Smith was a white shoemaker who agreed to help Brown escape—for a price. (Samuel Smith himself owned enslaved laborers.)

Brown came up with the idea to be shipped in a box by train to Philadelphia. Samuel contacted a leader of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. The leader was involved in Underground Railroad activities.

On March 23, 1849, the Smiths sealed Brown into a wooden box. The box was three feet long, two and one-half feet deep, and two feet wide. It was labeled as “dry goods” before being shipped from Richmond. Brown was turned head-down in the box for several hours. At other stops the box was handled roughly. He later wrote that he was determined “to conquer or die,” even as “I felt my eyes swelling as if they would burst from their sockets.”

The “package” finally arrived in Philadelphia on March 24. At the office of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, the box was opened carefully. After twenty-six hours of being trapped in the box, Brown came out alive and free. “I had risen as it were from the dead,” Brown wrote.

Career in Boston and England

In May, Brown attended the New England Anti-Slavery Convention in Boston. His daring escape was celebrated among the crowd. It showed people how much enslaved people wanted to be free. Here he was renamed Henry Box Brown. He sang a song that he had sung when he first arrived in Philadelphia.

That summer he appeared at antislavery gatherings. Brown probably sold copies of the song’s lyrics about him after the performances. In September 1849 the Narrative of Henry Box Brown by Charles Stearns was published. Brown and Stearns toured New England selling the book and giving antislavery speeches.

Samuel Smith tried to put this same escape plan to use in May of 1849. He wanted to “ship” a group of enslaved people to Philadelphia. His plan was discovered, and he was arrested. That November he was sentenced to six and a half years in the state prison. James C. A. Smith helped Smith in the attempt. But he avoided arrest until September 1849. He was never convicted of the crime. James C. A. Smith joined Brown in Boston by December.

Late in 1849 Brown began his next project.  Brown worked with artists to create a visual presentation about slavery. Before movies were possible, artists would sometimes create large artistic scenes called panoramas. Brown and the artists created a moving panorama that brought the scenes to life. On April 11, 1850, the moving panorama, Henry Box Brown’s Mirror of Slavery, opened in Boston. Brown and Smith showed the piece in New England throughout the summer.

Brown risked being captured and returned to Virginia. He, along with James C. A. Smith, sailed to England in October 1850. They showed the panorama in many English cities. In May 1851 the Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself was published.

In June 1851 Brown’s and Smith’s partnership ended. The two had bitter conflicts about money. Smith also complained that Brown had not tried to free his family. Smith criticized Brown in letters to antislavery activists (abolitionists). Brown left the abolitionist circle and went into English show business.

He showed his panorama in England during the 1850s. During this time, he created the character of the African Prince. In this performance, he would dress in fine clothes and jewelry. By 1859 he had remarried. He began showing a new panorama with his wife. Brown also created a new performance as a hypnotist during this time. As late as 1864, he still sometimes showed the Mirror of Slavery.

Death and Legacy

In 1875, Brown returned to the United States with his wife and daughter Annie. Promoting himself as “Prof. H. Box Brown,” he performed as a magician. He continued his performance of the African Prince and continued to climb into his original box. By that time Henry Box Brown was living in Toronto, where he died on June 15, 1897.

More than a century later, the man who escaped slavery in a box has become a symbol of the Underground Railroad. His story has inspired works by many artists. Brown has been featured in a short film, at least two plays, an opera, and an exhibit at a wax museum. The writer Anthony Cohen honored Brown’s courage by traveling from Philadelphia to New York inside a box. Brown’s famous passage to freedom was not a thing apart from the rest of his life. He showed the character traits that allowed him to succeed as a fugitive time and again during his long career as a performer.

Grade 8

Summary

Henry Box Brown was an abolitionist speaker and performer. He was born in Louisa County, Virginia. Brown worked in a Richmond tobacco factory. In 1848, his wife and children were sold away to North Carolina. Brown decided to escape from slavery and enlisted the help of a free Black and a white slaveowner, who conspired to ship him in a box to Philadelphia. In March 1849 the package was accepted there by a leader of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. As a free man, Brown lectured across New England on the evils of slavery and participated in the publication of the Narrative of Henry Box Brown (1849). In 1850, a moving panorama, Henry Box Brown’s Mirror of Slavery, opened in Boston. That same year, Brown, worried that he might be reenslaved, moved to England, where he lectured, presented his panorama, and performed as a hypnotist. In 1875, he returned to the United States with his wife and daughter Annie and performed as a magician. Brown died in Toronto on June 15, 1897. He stands as a powerful symbol of the Underground Railroad and enslaved African Americans’ thirst for freedom.

In This Entry

Early Years and Escape

Henry Brown was born between 1815 and 1816 on a plantation in Louisa County. Many enslaved people did not know their parents or siblings. But Brown spent his formative years with his parents and his four sisters and three brothers. They all were enslaved, belonging to John Barret, a former mayor of Richmond. After Barret’s death on June 9, 1830, Brown was separated from his family and sent to Richmond to work in the tobacco factory of Barret’s son William Barret. Brown’s brothers and sisters were sent to various plantations, except for Martha, who, according to Brown, was kept by William Barret as his “keep Miss,” or mistress.

In 1836 Brown married Nancy, an enslaved woman owned by a different master, and together they had three children. The family joined the First African Baptist Church, where Henry Brown sang in the church’s choir. He had become a skilled tobacco worker and earned enough money through overwork to rent a house for his family. In August 1848, Nancy Brown’s master sold her and their three children to another master in North Carolina. At the time, she was pregnant with a fourth child.

After mourning his loss for several months, Brown decided to escape from slavery. Through James Caesar Anthony Smith, a free Black man and fellow member of the church choir, he contacted Samuel Alexander Smith. Smith was a white shoemaker who agreed to help Brown escape—for a price. (Ironically, Samuel Smith himself owned enslaved laborers.) The three men rejected several possible ideas before Brown developed an inventive idea. He decided to be shipped in a box by train to Philadelphia. Samuel Smith contacted James Miller McKim, a leader of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society who was involved in Underground Railroad activities.

On March 23, 1849, the Smiths sealed Brown into a wooden box three feet long, two and one-half feet deep, and two feet wide. The package was labeled as “dry goods” before being shipped from Richmond to Philadelphia. Brown was turned head down in the box for several hours and nearly died. At other transfers the box was roughly handled, but he endured silently. He later wrote that he “was resolved to conquer or die,” even as “I felt my eyes swelling as if they would burst from their sockets; and the veins on my temples were dreadfully distended[swollen] with pressure of blood upon my head.” Even as he thought he might die, Brown heard a man telling another that he had been standing too long and needed a place to sit; “so perceiving my box, standing on end, he threw it down and then two sat upon it. I was thus relieved from a state of agony which may be more easily imagined than described.”

The “package” finally arrived in Philadelphia early on March 24. At the office of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, the box was opened hesitantly. After twenty-six hours of confinement, Brown emerged, alive and free. “I had risen as it were from the dead,” Brown wrote.

Career in Boston and England

At the end of May, Brown appeared before the New England Anti-Slavery Convention in Boston. His daring escape was celebrated as proof that enslaved people desired freedom, and he was renamed Henry Box Brown. He had a fine voice and performed the hymn of thanksgiving that he had sung on his arrival in Philadelphia. That summer he appeared at antislavery gatherings. Published sheets with the lyrics to “Song, Sung by Mr. Brown on being removed from the box” and “Escape from Slavery of Henry Box Brown” were probably sold by Brown after his performances.

Early in September 1849 the Narrative of Henry Box Brown, written by Charles Stearns, was published in Boston. Brown and Stearns toured New England selling the book and delivering antislavery lectures into the early part of November 1849.

Samuel Smith attempted another shipment of slaves from Richmond to Philadelphia on May 8, 1849, but was discovered and arrested. That November he was sentenced to six and a half years in the state penitentiary. James C. A. Smith had helped Smith in the attempt but avoided arrest until September 25, 1849. A divided panel of magistrates enabled him to escape conviction. James C. A. Smith had joined Brown in Boston by December.

Late in 1849 Brown involved the Boston artist Josiah Wolcott and others to begin work on an ambitious moving panorama about slavery. In January 1850, The Resurrection of Henry Box Brown at Philadelphia, a lithograph probably reproducing an image created for the panorama, was published in Boston. It became one of the earliest of many visual representations of that scene. On April 11, 1850, the moving panorama, Henry Box Brown’s Mirror of Slavery, opened in Boston. Brown and Smith exhibited in New England throughout the summer.

On August 30, 1850, with passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill looming, Brown was assaulted on the street in Providence, Rhode Island. Believing that he was at risk of being captured and returned to Virginia, Brown, along with Smith, sailed to England in October 1850. They showed the panorama in several English cities between November 1850 and spring of 1851. Early in May 1851 the “First English Edition” of the Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself was published in Manchester.

In June 1851 Brown’s and Smith’s partnership ended after a bitter dispute involving money. Smith also complained that Brown had made no effort to purchase his own family. Smith strongly criticized Brown in letters to leading American abolitionists as well as to those English activists who had helped them get started in that country. Out of both necessity and choice, Brown left the abolitionist circle entirely and went into English show business.

He showed his panorama throughout England during the 1850s. During this time he developed the character of the African Prince as another part of his persona, dressing in fine clothes and jewelry. In July 1852 Brown won a libel case against a newspaper that had published racial slurs about his performances. By 1859 he had remarried and was also exhibiting a panorama of the Indian Mutiny of 1857 with his wife. Around that time Brown began to perform as a mesmerist, entertaining audiences with the actions of people under his hypnotic influence. As late as 1864, he still occasionally showed the Mirror of Slavery.

Death and Legacy

In 1875, accompanied by his wife and daughter Annie, Brown returned to the United States. Billing himself as “Prof. H. Box Brown,” he performed as a magician. He continued his performance of the African Prince and continued to climb into his original box. By that time Henry Box Brown was living in Toronto, where he died on June 15, 1897. He was buried in Necropolis Cemetery there.

More than a century later, the man who escaped slavery in a box has become a symbol of the Underground Railroad. His confinement and triumphant appearance from the box have inspired works by several contemporary artists. Brown has been featured in a short film, at least two plays, an opera, and an exhibit at a wax museum. The writer Anthony Cohen paid homage to Brown’s courage by traveling from Philadelphia to New York inside a box. Brown’s famous passage to freedom was not a thing apart from the rest of his life. He displayed the attributes that allowed him to succeed as a fugitive time and again during his long career as a performer.

Grades 11+

Early Years and Escape

Henry Brown was born in either 1815 or 1816 at the Hermitage, a plantation about ten miles from Yanceyville in Louisa County. Brown spent his formative years with his parents (whose names are unknown) and his four sisters and three brothers, who were all enslaved by John Barret, a former mayor of Richmond. After Barret’s death on June 9, 1830, Brown was separated from his family and sent to Richmond to work in the tobacco factory of Barret’s son William Barret, whose property he became. Brown’s brothers and sisters were sent to various plantations, except for his sister Martha, who, according to Brown, was kept by William Barret as his “keep Miss,” or mistress.

First African Baptist Church

Brown married Nancy, an enslaved woman owned by a different enslaver, in Richmond in about 1836 and together they had three children. The family joined the First African Baptist Church, where Brown sang in the church’s choir. He had become a skilled tobacco worker and earned enough money through overwork to set up his family in a rented house. Then, in August 1848, Nancy Brown’s enslaver sold her and their three children to another enslaver in North Carolina. At the time, she was pregnant with a fourth child.

After mourning his loss for several months, Brown resolved to escape from slavery and conceived an unusual method. Through James Caesar Anthony Smith, a free Black man and fellow member of the church choir, he contacted Samuel Alexander Smith, a white shoemaker and sometimes gambler, who agreed to help Brown escape for a price. (Smith himself owned enslaved laborers.) The three men rejected several possible means before Brown had the inspiration to be shipped in a box by rail to Philadelphia. Samuel Smith accordingly contacted James Miller McKim, a Philadelphia leader of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society who was involved in Underground Railroad activities.

Henry Box Brown’s Escape to Freedom

On March 23, 1849, the Smiths sealed Brown into a wooden box three feet long, two and one-half feet deep, and two feet wide, and conveyed the package as “dry goods” from Richmond to Philadelphia. On the steamboat transfer up the Potomac River to Washington from the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad‘s terminus at Aquia Creek, Brown was turned head down in the box for several hours and nearly died. At other transfers the box was roughly handled, but he endured silently. He later wrote that he “was resolved to conquer or die,” even as “I felt my eyes swelling as if they would burst from their sockets; and the veins on my temples were dreadfully distended with pressure of blood upon my head.” Even as he thought he might die, Brown heard a man telling another that he had been standing too long and needed a place to sit; “so perceiving my box, standing on end, he threw it down and then two sat upon it. I was thus relieved from a state of agony which may be more easily imagined than described.”

After the parcel finally arrived in Philadelphia early on March 24, McKim took delivery at the office of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, where the box was opened with great trepidation. After twenty-six hours’ confinement, Brown emerged, alive and free. “I had risen as it were from the dead,” Brown wrote.

Career in Boston and England

Henry Box Brown Song

At the end of May, Brown appeared before the New England Anti-Slavery Convention in Boston, where his daring escape was celebrated as proof that enslaved people desired liberty, and he was renamed Henry Box Brown. He had a fine voice and performed the hymn of thanksgiving that he had sung on his arrival in Philadelphia. That summer he appeared at antislavery gatherings. Published sheets with the lyrics to “Song, Sung by Mr. Brown on being removed from the box” and “Escape from Slavery of Henry Box Brown” were probably sold by Brown after his performances. Early in September 1849 the Narrative of Henry Box Brown, written by Charles Stearns, was published in Boston. Brown and Stearns toured New England selling the book and delivering antislavery lectures into the early part of November 1849.

Samuel Smith attempted another shipment of enslaved people from Richmond to Philadelphia on May 8, 1849, but was discovered and arrested. That November he was sentenced to six and one-half years in the state penitentiary. James Smith had aided Smith in the attempt but avoided arrest until September 25, 1849. A divided panel of magistrates enabled him to escape conviction. James Smith had joined Brown in Boston by December.

Late in 1849, Brown engaged the Boston artist Josiah Wolcott and others to begin work on an ambitious moving panorama about slavery. In January 1850 The Resurrection of Henry Box Brown at Philadelphia, a lithograph probably reproducing an image created for the panorama, was published in Boston and became one of the earliest of many pictorial representations of that scene. On April 11, 1850, the moving panorama, Henry Box Brown’s Mirror of Slavery, opened in Boston. Brown and Smith exhibited in New England throughout the summer.

Effects of the Fugitive-Slave-Law

On August 30, 1850, with passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill imminent, Brown was assaulted on the street in Providence, Rhode Island. Believing himself at risk of being captured and returned to Virginia under the law, Brown, along with Smith, sailed to England in October 1850. They exhibited the panorama in Liverpool from November 12 to December 5, 1850, showed it in Manchester from December 14, 1850, to January 1, 1851, and toured Lancashire and Yorkshire through the spring. Early in May 1851 the “First English Edition” of the Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself was published in Manchester.

In June 1851, Brown’s and Smith’s partnership ended after a bitter dispute involving money and Smith’s complaint that Brown had made no effort to purchase his own family. Smith strongly criticized Brown in letters to prominent American abolitionists as well as to those English activists who had helped them get started in that country. Out of both necessity and choice, Brown moved from the abolitionist circuit into English show business. He exhibited his panorama throughout England during the 1850s, developing the character of the African Prince as another part of his persona and dressing in fine clothes and jewelry. In July 1852, Brown won a libel case against a newspaper that had published racial slurs about his performances. By 1859 he had remarried and with his wife, whose name is unknown, was also exhibiting a panorama of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. About that time, Brown began to perform as a mesmerist, entertaining audiences with the actions of persons under his hypnotic influence. As late as 1864, when billing himself in Wales as the “King of all the Mesmerisers,” he still occasionally showed the Mirror of Slavery.

Death and Legacy

In 1875, accompanied by his wife and daughter Annie, Brown returned to the United States. Billing himself as “Prof. H. Box Brown,” he performed as a magician. He carried over from his previous shows his portrayal of the African Prince and continued to climb into his original box. The Browns performed at Milbury and Worcester, Massachusetts, at the beginning of 1878, and an extant handbill announces a performance at Brookline on May 9, 1878. An Ontario newspaper reports a performance at Brantford on February 26, 1889. Research done by the scholar Martha J. Cutter has shown that by that time Henry Box Brown was living in Toronto, where he died on June 15, 1897. He was buried in Necropolis Cemetery there.

More than a century later, the man who escaped slavery in a box has become a symbol of the Underground Railroad, and his confinement and triumphant emergence from the box have inspired works by several contemporary artists. Brown has been featured in a short film, at least two plays, an opera, and an exhibit at a wax museum. The writer Anthony Cohen paid homage to Brown’s courage by traveling from Philadelphia to New York inside a box. Brown’s famous passage to freedom was not a thing apart from the rest of his life, and he displayed the attributes that enabled him to succeed as a fugitive time and again during his long career as a performer.

Major Works

  • Narrative of Henry Box Brown, Who Escaped from Slavery Enclosed in a Box 3 Feet Long and 2 Wide, Written from a Statement of Facts Made by Himself; With Remarks upon the Remedy for Slavery by Charles Stearns (1849)
  • Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself (1851)
MAP
TIMELINE
March 24, 1849
Henry Brown, a slave from Richmond who was shipped the day before in a box to Philadelphia, is delivered to the office of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Having risked death to make the journey, he emerges a free man.
May 1849
Late in the month, Henry Brown appears before the New England Anti-Slavery Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, where he speaks of his escape from slavery. He adopts the name Henry Box Brown.
May 8, 1849
Samuel Smith, a white shoemaker who had helped Henry Brown escape from slavery, attempts another shipment of slaves from Richmond to Philadelphia. He is discovered and arrested.
September 25, 1849
James C. A. Smith, a free black who had helped Henry Box Brown escape from slavery, is arrested for attempting another shipment of slaves. A subsequent trial results in a divided panel of magistrates and Smith joins Brown in Boston, Massachusetts, by December.
November 1849
Samuel Smith, a white shoemaker who attempted a second a shipment of slaves from Richmond to Philadelphia, is sentenced to six and one-half years in the state penitentiary.
January 1850
The Resurrection of Henry Box Brown at Philadelphia, a lithograph probably reproducing an image created for a moving panorama, is published in Boston and becomes one of the earliest of many pictorial representations of Brown's escape from slavery.
April 11, 1850
The moving panorama, Henry Box Brown's Mirror of Slavery, opens in Boston, Massachusetts. Brown and James C. A. Smith, a free black who had helped him escape slavery, exhibit in New England throughout the summer.
August 30, 1850
Henry Box Brown is assaulted on the street in Providence, Rhode Island. With passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill imminent, he believes himself to be at risk of being captured and re-enslaved in Virginia.
November 12—December 5, 1850
Henry Box Brown's Mirror of Slavery, a moving panorama, exhibits in Liverpool, England.
December 14, 1850—January 1, 1851
Henry Box Brown's Mirror of Slavery, a moving panorama, exhibits in Manchester, England.
June 1851
Henry Box Brown's business partnership with James C. A. Smith, a free black who had helped him escape slavery, ends after a bitter dispute involving money and personal disagreements. Smith's animus forces Brown off the abolitionist circuit and into show business.
July 1852
Henry Box Brown wins a libel case against an English newspaper that published racial slurs about his performances.
1859
By this year, Henry Box Brown is remarried in England and exhibiting a panorama of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. He also begins to perform as a mesmerist.
1878
At the beginning of the year, Henry Box Brown performs at Milbury and Worcester, Massachusetts.
May 9, 1878
A handbill announces a performance by Henry Box Brown at Brookline, Massachusetts.
February 26, 1889
A newspaper reports a performance by Henry Box Brown at Brantford, Ontario. This is the last known record of Brown.
June 15, 1897
Henry Box Brown dies in Toronto and is buried in that city.
FURTHER READING
  • Cutter, Martha J. “Will the Real Henry ‘Box’ Brown Please Stand Up?” Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life 16, no. 1 (Fall 2015).
  • Ruggles, Jeffrey. “Brown, Henry Box.” In The Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Vol. 2, edited by Sara B. Bearss et al., 294–296. Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2001.
  • Ruggles, Jeffrey. The Unboxing of Henry Brown. Richmond, Virginia: Library of Virginia, 2003.
  • Spencer, Suzette. “International Fugitive: Henry Box Brown, Anti-Imperialism, Resistance,and Slavery.” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture 12, no. 2 (2006): 227–248.
  • Still, William.The Underground Rail Road; a Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters, & C. Narrating the Hardships Hair-Breadth Escapes and Death Struggles of the Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom, as Related by Themselves and Others, or Witnessed by the Author; Together with Sketches of Some of the Largest Stockholders, and Most Liberal Aiders and Advisers of the Road. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Company, 1970.
  • Wolff, Cynthia Griffin. “Passing Beyond the Middle Passage: Henry “Box” Brown’s Translations of Slavery.” Massachusetts Review 37, no. 1 (1996): 23–44.
  • Wood, Marcus. “All Right: The Narrative of Henry Box Brown as a Test Case for the Racial Prescription of Rhetoric and Semiotics.” American Antiquarian Society: A Journal of American History and Culture 107, no. 1 (1998): 65–104.
CITE THIS ENTRY
APA Citation:
Spencer, Suzette. Henry Box Brown (1815 or 1816–1897). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/brown-henry-box-1815-or-1816-1897.
MLA Citation:
Spencer, Suzette. "Henry Box Brown (1815 or 1816–1897)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 29 Feb. 2024
Last updated: 2023, February 15
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