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L. R. Ferebee (London R.), b. 1849
A Brief History of the Slave Life of Rev. L. R. Ferebee, and the Battles of Life, and Four Years of His Ministerial Life. Written from Memory. To 1882
Raleigh: Edwards, Broughton & Co., Steam Printers, Publishers and Binders, 1882.


In 1882, London R. Ferebee published his autobiography, A Brief History of the Slave Life of Rev. L. R. Ferebee. Ferebee was born to slave parents in Currituck County, North Carolina in 1849. His master, Edwin Cowles, took London away from his family to work with his boating crew, and in 1861, Ferebee was living with his master's family in Still Town, a village outside of Elizabeth City. In August of that year, Ferebee ran away to Shiloh, North Carolina seeking protection from the Northern army. In 1863 Ferebee followed the army when it moved to Elizabeth City and was reunited with his family. After living briefly in New Bern, the family returned to Roanoke Island, where London's father established a school. London did well in school and quickly learned to read and write. He worked for a judge and later aspired to political office but was thwarted by a corrupt county official who put him in jail briefly. Ferebee was released by pardon of the governor. In 1872, Ferebee married Lucinda Smith, and in 1877 he was licensed as a minister. He joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church and served in several churches, including one in Raleigh. The narrative closes with his assessment of his ministry.

Harris Henderson

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