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James Williams narrative

Identifier: c-00584

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a partial issue of the Anti-Slavery Examiner featuring the narrative of an escaped enslaved person, James Williams (born 1805). In his narrative, Williams details the daily life of enslaved people in Virginia and Alabama in the first half of the nineteenth century. He extensively discusses methods of torture used to punish them and recounts his experiences as a field driver on an Alabaman cotton plantation. Williams eventually successfully ran away to the North, but his wife and children were left in Virginia. The narrative was written by J. G. Whittier from the verbal narrative of Williams. This issue was bound sometime after publication and is in poor condition; half of several pages are missing.


  • Creation: circa 1838


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

The Anti-Slavery Examiner was a newsletter distributed by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. The society was founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan.


0.1 Cubic Feet (, 1 folder)

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Copyright: Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Property Rights: Michigan State University

James Williams Narrative
4 Published And Cataloged
D. Palazzola
January 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US