The Life and Magic of Henry 'Box' Brown


Illustration of Henry Box Brown's "resurrection" in Philadelphia. From William Still's 1872 book “The Underground Railroad.” Public domain

Brown was born into slavery and escaped in an astonishing way. His story of gaining his freedom was so sensational that he basically spent the rest of his life making a living talking about it in one form or another.

Holly's Research:

  • “Henry "Box" Brown Biography.” Biography.com. January 19, 2018. https://www.biography.com/people/henry-box-brown-21325341
  • Cutter, Martha J. “Will the Real Henry ‘Box’ Brown Please Stand Up?” Common-Place. Vol. 16, No. 1. Fall 2015. http://common-place.org/book/will-the-real-henry-box-brown-please-stand-up/
  • Brooks, Daphne. “Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910.” Duke University Press. 2006.
  • Brown, Henry Box. “Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself (1851).” Dover Publications. 2015.
  • Ruggles, Jeffrey. “The Unboxing of Henry Brown.” Library of Virginia. 2003.
  • “Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.” Virginia Commonwealth University. https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/federal/fugitive-slave-act-of-1850/
  • Spencer, Suzette and Jeffrey Ruggles. “Henry Box Brown (1815 or 1816–1897).” Encyclopedia of Virginia. https://www.encyclospediavirginia.org/Brown_Henry_Box_ca_1815#start_entry

Topics in this Podcast: 19th century, U.S. history, slavery, black history, Frederick Douglass