Sunday, June 19, 2016

The word counts of 33 Slave narratives

By Kenton Rambsy and Howard Rambsy II

The following list contains the word counts of 33 select slave narratives published between 1842 and 1868. The list of narratives constitutes the preliminary stage for one of our text-mining projects. We stress preliminary as more than 200 slave narratives were published.

[Related: Chronological List of 33 Slave Narratives]

Word counts, slave narratives, and year of publication

3,460 words: The Life and Sufferings of John Joseph, a Native of Ashantee, in West Africa (1848)
9,392: Life of James Mars, a Slave Born and Sold in Connecticut (1864)
9,771: The Life and Sufferings of Leonard Black (1847)
11,044: Narrative of Henry Watson, a Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself (1848)
11,815: The Story of Mattie J. Jackson (1866)
13,414: Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy (1843)
13,612: The Narrative of Lunsford Lane (1842)
15,050: Narrative of the Life of J. D. Green, a Runaway Slave from Kentucky (1864)
17,393: The Experience of a Slave in South Carolina (1862)
17,770: The Experience of Thomas H. Jones, Who Was a Slave for Forty-three years (1862)

18,650: Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper, from American Slavery (1848)
19,219: Narrative of William Wells Brown (1847)
20,599: The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave (1849)
24,499: The Light and Truth of Slavery (1845)
25,172: Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown (1849)
25,218: Running a thousand Miles for Freedom (1860)
25,002: The Fugitive Blacksmith, or Events in the History of James W. C. Pennington (1849)
26,816: Narratives of the Sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke (1846)
29,293: Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky (1863)

30,383: A Narrative of Events of the Life of J. H. Banks, an Escaped Slave (1861)
35,036: Struggles for Freedom: Or the Life of James Watkins, Formerly a Slave in Maryland (1860)
36,417: The Life of John Thompson, A Fugitive Slave (1855)
36,577: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)
44,747: Narrative and Writings of Andrew Jackson, of Kentucky (1847)
47,240: Narrative of William Hayden (1846)
49,152: Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb (1849)
49,888: Slave Life in Georgia (1855)
51,609: Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868)
77,289: Twelve Years a Slave (1853)

81,804: Bond and Free: or, Yearnings for Freedom (1861)
81,607: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)
120,410: The Rev. J. W. Loguen, as a Slave and as a Freeman (1855)
134,621: My Bondage and My Freedom (1855)

"Seshat: A Digital Humanities Initiative" at Howard University 
African American Language and Culture Lab

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