Olaudah Equiano

Died aged c. 52

Olaudah Equiano (/əˈlaʊdə/; c. 1745 – 31 March 1797), known for most of his life as Gustavus Vassa (/ˈvæsə/), was a writer and abolitionist from, according to his memoir, the Eboe (Igbo) region of the Kingdom of Benin (today southern Nigeria). Enslaved as a child in Africa, he was shipped to the Caribbean as a victim of the Atlantic slave trade and sold as a slave to a Royal Navy officer. He was sold twice more but purchased his freedom in 1766. As a freedman in London, Equiano supported the British abolitionist movement. He was part of the Sons of Africa, an abolitionist group comprised of Africans living in Britain, and he was active among leaders of the anti-slave trade movement in the 1780s. He published his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789), which depicted the horrors of slavery. It went through nine editions in his lifetime and helped obtain passing of the British Slave Trade Act 1807, which abolished the slave trade. Equiano married an English woman, Susannah Cullen, in 1792 and they had two daughters. He died in 1797 in Westminster. Since the late 20th century, when his autobiography was published in a new edition, he has been studied by various scholars, including from his homeland.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797) "The African" lived and published here in 1789 his autobiography on suffering the barbarity of slavery, which paved the way for its abolition

73 Riding House Street, Paddington, London, United Kingdom where they lived and wrote an autobiography

Olaudah Equiano "The African" 1745-1797 Abolitionist lived at this address in 1788 His book "The Interesting Narrative" was a best seller

37 Tottenham Street, Fitzrovia, London, United Kingdom where they was