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Louis Hughes

Louis Hughes (1832 – 1913) was born a slave to a plantation owner and slave in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hughes remained in bondage for over thirty years, mostly in Tennessee. He secretly learned to read and write, becoming a businessman and author of an incredible autobiography, Thirty Years a Slave: From Bondage to Freedom, further subtitled: “The Institution of Slavery as Seen on the Plantation and in the Home of the Planter.” Visit American History and the African American Library for other important writing by figures who helped shape America. [Photo by Timothy H. O’Sullivan, slave quarters on Smith’s plantation, Port Royal, 1862.]


  • Thirty Years a Slave From Bondage to Freedom