’s Travels Essay, Research Paper
“Equiano’s Travels” was a narrative written during the 1800’s. The 1800’s were a time highly in the movements of imperialism and abolition. Imperialism is “The policy of extending a nation’s authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations”(www.atomica.com). Abolition is “The act of doing away with or the state of being done away with”(www.atomica.com). An example of this is the abolishment of slavery. In “Equiano’s Travels” there are many connections that can be made involving the 1800’s in the time of abolition and imperialism.
“Equiano’s Travels” is based on a real venture of a slave named Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa which was a name given to him by one of his masters. Olaudah Equiano was an African who was kidnapped from his village in Africa at the age of eleven. He was shipped through the “Middle Passage” of the Atlantic Ocean, and brought to the West Indies to be sold to a Virginia planter. Later he was bought by a British naval Officer, Captain Pascal, as a present for his cousins in London. After approximately ten years his life being enslaved all over the continent of North American, working with his merchant slave master and sea’s men, Equiano bought his freedom.
When Equiano had reached the age of forty-four he wrote and published his autobiography, The Life of Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself, which he entered at Stationer’s Hall, located in London, in 1789. Following, after a little over two centuries, his work is accepted as one of the first works written in English by a former slave. As well as “the paradigm” (www.babylon.com) of a slave narrative. Equiano recalled his childhood in an Igbo village formerly in northeast Nigeria. There he was embellished in the tradition of the “greatest warriors.” He is thought of as a unique figure in his remembrance of traditional African life before the coming of the slave trade that took place in Europe. During his life, he traveled through the Americas, Turkey, and the Mediterranean. He also was involved in a major war/battle during the French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War). Also he was involved in the northwest- passage search led by Phipps expedition of 1772-1773. Equiano took role in the British Abolishment Movement. As Equiano was a leading major voice in the movement, He petitioned the Queen of England in 1788. He was appointed to expedition to settle a poor black British colony on the west coast of Africa. However, Equiano didn’t finish to his journey to his native African homeland.