List of Virginia Slave Narratives

The following list includes the names of enslaved and formerly enslaved Virginians who authored narratives of their lives, were the subjects of biographies, or who spoke to journalists or oral historians. MORE...


John Quincy Adams (b. 1845), Narrative of the Life of John Quincy Adams, when in Slavery, and Now as a Freeman (1872)

Thomas Anderson (b. ca. 1785), Interesting Account of Thomas Anderson, a Slave, Taken from His Own Lips (1854)

Fannie Berry (b. 1841), "Interview of Mrs. Fannie Berry" (1937)

Leonard A. Black (1820–1883), The Life and Sufferings of Leonard Black, a Fugitive from Slavery (1847)

Cyrus Branch (b. 1793 or 1794), A Lost Family Found; an Authentic Narrative of Cyrus Branch and His Family, Alias John White (1869)

Henry Box Brown (1815 or 1816–1897), Narratives of Henry Box Brown

Willis M. Carter (1852–1902), A Sketch of My Life and Our Family Record (ca. 1890s)

Pharaoh Jackson Chesney (b. ca. 1781), Last of the Pioneers: or, Old Times in East Tenn. Being the Life and Reminiscences of Pharaoh Jackson Chesney (Aged 120 Years) By J. C. Webster (1902)

Samuel Spottford Clement (b. 1861), Memoirs of Samuel Spottford Clement Relating Interesting Experiences in Days of Slavery and Freedom (1908)

Fields Cook (ca. 1817–1897), Untitled Narrative (1847)

David Conyou (1791-1847), Also, a Brief Sketch of the Life of the Rev. David Conyou, of the A. M. E. C. and His Ministerial labors by Augustus R. Green (1850)

Charles Crawley (b. ca. 1856), "The story of Charles Crawley, ex slave" (1937)

Noah Davis (1804–1867), A Narrative of the Life of Rev. Noah Davis, a Colored Man (1859)

Kate Drumgoold, A Slave Girl's Story (1898)

Francis Fedric (b. ca. 1805), Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky; or, Fifty Years of Slavery in the Southern States of America (1863)

London Ferrill (1789–1854), Biography of London Ferrill (1854)

Minnie Folkes (b. 1860), "Interview of Mrs. Minnie Fulkes" (1937)

Francis Frederick (ca. 1805–ca. 1882), Autobiography of Rev. Francis Frederick, of Virginia (1869)

Charles A. Garlick (b. 1827), Life, including His Escape and Struggle for Liberty of Charles A. Garlick (1902)

Georgina Gibbs (b. 1849), "Interview of Mrs. Georgina Giwbs, ex-slave" (1937)

Candis Goodwin (b. 1857), "Interview of Mrs. Candis Goodwin"

Charles Grandy (b. 1842), "Interview of Mr. Charles Grandy" (1937)

William Grimes (1784–1865), Life of William Grimes, the Runaways Slave. Written by Himself (1825), Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave, Brought Down to the Present Time (1855)

Della Harris (b. 1852), "Interview of Mrs. Della Harris" (1937)

Madison Hemings (1805–1877), "Life Among the Lowly, No. 1" (1873)

George Henry (b. 1819), Life of George Henry (1894)

Marriah Hines (b. 1835), "Interview of Mrs. Marriah Hines" (1937)

Moble Hopson (b. 1852), "The story of 'Uncle' Moble Hopson" (1936)

Gilbert Hunt (ca. 1780–1863), "A Colored Hero" (1858), Gilbert Hunt, the City Blacksmith by Philip Barrett (1859)

John Jasper (1812–1901), John Jasper: The Unmatched Negro Philosopher and Preacher (1908)

Isaac Jefferson (1775–ca. 1850), "Life of Isaac Jefferson of Petersburg, Virginia, Blacksmith" (1847)

Israel Jefferson (ca. 1800–after 1873), "Life Among the Lowly, No. 3" (1873)

Paul Jennings (1799–1874), A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison (1865)

Thomas L. Johnson (1836–1921), Twenty-eight Years a Slave (1909)

Albert Jones (b. 1842), "Civil War veteran of Portsmouth, Virginia" (1937)

Oney Judge (ca. 1773–1848), "Washington's Runaway Slave" (1845), "A Slave of George Washington!" (1847)

Elizabeth Keckley (1818–1907), Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868)

Susan Kelly (b. ca. 1856) and Simon Stokes (b. ca. 1839), "Folklore material from Upper Guinea" (1938)

Henrietta King (b. 1843), "Henrietta King"

Dan Josiah Lockhart (b. ca. 1822), "Narrative of Dan Josiah Lockhart" (1856)

Christopher McPherson (ca. 1763–1817), A Short History of the Life of Christopher McPherson (1811, 1855)

Henry Parker (b. 1835), "Autobiography of Henry Parker" (ca. 1860s)

Peter Randolph (ca. 1825–1897), Sketches of Slave Life: or, Illustrations of the "Peculiar Institution" (1855)

Richard Slaughter (b. 1849), "Autobiography of Richard Slaughter" (1936)

James Lindsay Smith, Autobiography of James L. Smith (1881)

Stephen Smith (1769 or 1770–1797), Life, Last Words and Dying Speech of Stephen Smith (1797)

Elizabeth Sparks (b. 1841), "Autobiography of Elizabeth Sparks" (1937)

Austin Steward (1794–1860), Twenty-two Years a Slave, and Forty Years a Freeman (1857)

Nat Turner (1800–1831), The Confessions of Nat Turner (1832)

Various, The Refugee: or the Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada (1856)

Various, Still's Underground Rail Road Records (1886)

Bethany Veney (ca. 1815–1916), The Narrative of Bethany Veney, a Slave Woman (1889)

Booker T. Washington (1856–1915), Up from Slavery (1901)

John M. Washington (1838–1918), Memorys of the Past (1873)

George White (b. 1764), A Brief Account of the Life, Experience, Travels, and Gospel Labours of George White, an African (1810)

Isaac D. Williams (b. ca. 1821), Sunshine and Shadow of Slave Life (1885)

William H. Robinson (b. 1848), From Log Cabin To the Pulpit, or, Fifteen Years in Slavery (1913)

Allen Wilson (b. 1845), "Interview with Allen Wilson" (1937)

Mary Jane Wilson (b. ca. 1859), "Negro pioneer teacher of Portsmouth, Virginia" (1937)


Cite This Entry
  • APA Citation:

    Wolfe, B. List of Virginia Slave Narratives. (2018, May 10). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from

  • MLA Citation:

    Wolfe, Brendan. "List of Virginia Slave Narratives." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 10 May. 2018. Web. READ_DATE.

First published: March 5, 2018 | Last modified: May 10, 2018

Contributed by Brendan Wolfe, editor of Encyclopedia Virginia.