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Fifty Years in Chains: Or, the Life of an American Slave

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Fifty Years in Chains: Or, the Life of an American Slave (1859) was an abridged and unauthorized reprint of the earlier Slavery in the United States (1836). In the narratives, Ball describes his experiences as a slave, including the uncertainty of slave life and the ways in which the slaves are forced to suffer inhumane conditions. He recounts the qualities of his various masters and the ways in which his fortune depended on their temperament. As slave narrative scholar William L. Andrews has noted, Ball's oft-repeated narrative directly influenced the manner and matter of later fugitive slave narratives.

A DOCSOUTH BOOK. This collaboration between UNC Press and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library brings classic works from the digital library of Documenting the American South back into print. DocSouth Books uses the latest digital technologies to make these works available in paperback and e-book formats. Selected and edited by Bryan Giemza, Director of the Southern Historical Collection, each book contains a short summary and is otherwise unaltered from the original publication. DocSouth Books provide affordable and easily accessible editions to a new generation of scholars, students, and general readers.

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