Olaudah Equiano

Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Africa Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: March 16, 2013
Olaudah Equiano

If Olaudah Equiano was born in South Carolina rather than Africa, then it would put his entire book into question whether the majority of his story is a lie or not. There is some evidence in his book that would make one question why Olaudah Equiano did some of his actions, but there are also reasons for what he did. If it is true that he was born in South Carolina, then, to a historian, this book is unreliable, and one can only trust parts of the book that coincide with more reliable outside sources about Equiano. Although, a historian might not use this book as a reference since Equiano could possibly be lying, it was still a book that helped change the white man’s perspective of Africans and assisted in abolishing the slave trade.
In the book The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano of Gustavus Vassa the African we are told that he was “born in 1745, situated in a charming fruitful vale, named Essaka” (Equiano, 1), but “ Historians discovered a 1759 baptism record and stated that Olaudah Equiano was born in South Carolina” (Lecture notes, 10/29). Although it may seem indecisive weather he was born in Africa or South Caroline since it says “he was up on board his Majesty’s ship the Preston in the year 1759” (Equiano, 37) , one can still make the assumption he was still born in Africa if they take a close look into the history of Olaudah Equiano’s time.

First, the book directly tells us that “Equiano gives the date of birth as 1745, and though this can only be an approximation it was probably accurate within a year or so” (Equiano, p. X). This can lead one to believe that the dates in Equiano’s book are not exact and could be inaccurate within a year or so. If the dates according to his book are not exact, then it is plausible that even though he was baptized in 1759, he still could have gone on his voyage to England since the dated are not precise.

Second, Historians did find a baptismal record,...
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