AIGA 50 Books / 50 Covers
Lewis George Clarke published the story of his life as a slave in 1845, after he had escaped from Kentucky and become a well-regarded abolitionist lecturer throughout the North. His book was the first work by a slave to be acquired by the Library of Congress and copyrighted.
During the 1840s he lived in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, home of Aaron and Mary Safford, where he encountered Mary's stepsister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, along with Frederick Douglass, Lewis Tappan, Gerrit Smith, Josiah Henson, John Brown, Lydia Child, and Martin Delaney. His experiences are evident in Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in 1852, and Stowe identified him as the prototype for the book's rebellious character George Harris.
This facsimile edition of Clarke's book is introduced by his great grandson, Carver Clark Gayton, who has served as director of Affirmative Action Programs at the University of Washington; corporate director of educational relations and training for the Boeing Company; lecturer at the Evans School of Public Administration, University of Washington; and executive director of the Northwest African American Museum. He lives in Seattle.