Olaudah Equiano 1789
During the course of his life as a slave Olaudah Equiano was sold 10 times enduring three name changes by his various masters. He was baptised as Gustavus Vassa. His life was one of adventurer, entrepreneur, slave owner, merchant, explorer, abolitionist, and seaman.Source: Museum of African Diaspora
Olaudah Equiano was born in what is today Nigeria, kidnapped from his African village at the age of eleven, and sold to a Virginia planter. He was later bought by a British naval Officer, Captain Pascal, as a present for his cousins in London.
Equiano bought his freedom after ten years of enslavement throughout the North American continent, where he assisted his merchant slave master and worked as a seaman. Equiano recalls his childhood in Essaka, where he was adorned in the tradition of the "greatest warriors." He is unique in his recollection of traditional African life before the beginning of the European slave trade and detailed accounts of the horrors of the middle Passage.
Equiano was extremely well travelled for his time. He not only travelled throughout the Americas, Turkey and the Mediterranean; but also participated in major naval battles during the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), as well as in the search for a Northwest passage led by the Philips stores to the expedition to resettle London's poor Blacks in Sierra Leone, a British colony on the west coast of Africa.