ResponsePaper9 - HIST 213 Response Paper Brent Fiorito A...

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HIST 213 Brent Fiorito Response Paper 3/27/08 A Question of Credibility The autobiography of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, has recently been brought into the spotlight of the academic community. There is not much doubt that the former slave and “self-made” man Equiano accomplished many things and was most likely the wealthiest black man on the western Atlantic coast towards the end of his life. His autobiography has been used as a primary source in classrooms for decades and has been considered essential when studying the Middle Passage of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Although as of late a controversy has arisen over the origins of this influential historical figure. Vincent Carretta has written his own biography of Equiano and in it argues that the birthplace and therefore early life may have been fabricated by Equiano. Carretta’s argument is based on a baptismal certificate and a muster list from Equiano’s trip to the Artic. Carretta’s evidence “may be persuasive, but it is not conclusive” (Carretta) which makes this topic attractive to other scholars such as Lovejoy, Burnard and Sensbach who all respond differently to the controversial findings. Equiano’s early life has become the most concentrated on part of his story and an evident contradiction dealing
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 213 taught by Professor Miller during the Spring '08 term at UVA.

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ResponsePaper9 - HIST 213 Response Paper Brent Fiorito A...

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