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Solomon Bayley
A Narrative of Some Remarkable Incidents in the Life of Solomon Bayley, Formerly a Slave in the State of Delaware, North America; Written by Himself, and Published for His Benefit; to Which Are Prefixed, a Few Remarks by Robert Hurnard
London: Harvey and Darton, 1825.


Solomon Bayley was born in Delaware in an unknown year. His master took him to Virginia but he escaped and returned to Delaware, where he was reunited with his wife. In 1799, while he was living in Camden, his master recaptured him. Bayley was able to buy his own freedom for $80, and he later bought freedom for his wife and son. He worked as a farmer after being freed from slavery, although he harbored a desire to enter the ministry.

A Narrative of Some Remarkable Incidents in the Life of Solomon Bayley (1825) is disjointed at times, in part because it is based on correspondence and interviews between Bayley and Robert Hurnard. Despite the episodic nature of the work, Bayley's religious faith and dependence on God are constants throughout. His escape and recapture are covered in detail. In addition to the general outline of Bayley's life, Hurnard includes information about Bayley's wife, mother, and two daughters who died young.

Monique Prince

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