Hidden Figures: Martha Griffith Browne

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Martha Griffith Browne is little-known today, but in her day, the 1850s, she was a renowned author who wrote a novel about slavery in the wake of the success of Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Browne's book, The Autobiography of a Female Slave, published in 1856, seemed so realistic to its anti-slavery readers that they assumed it was a slave narrative.

It was not. Browne was from a slave-owning family in Kentucky; once she became an Abolitionist, she freed her slaves and moved North. She wrote another novel in 1859, Madge Vertner, but it did not achieve the success of her first.

Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library Portrait Division.