Once a Slave now Gustavus Vassa

Olaudah Equiano by Roshan Sundar

Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano was once a slave, but, after buying his freedom, decided he could support slaves that were mistreated, and became an abolitionist. Olaudah supported the slaves as he did not want to let other slaves experience what he experienced as a slave. Luckily he bought his freedom, but most slaves didn't have that opportunity, so Olaudah made it his mission to give slaves equal rights. With his help slaves in the "United States" would eventually be free. Olaudah Equiano, or better known as Gustavus Vassa, would help shape our nation into what it is today.

Olaudah Equiano

How Olaudah Equiano helped the slaves


Olaudah supported the slaves by,


  • Created a plantation that supported slaves and gave them proper respect
  • Made homes/hideouts that slaves could go to if they escaped
  • He created an abolitionist group called the "Sons of Africa" that protested with public speaking, letter writing, and lobbying parliament
  • He wrote an autobiography about himself that was used to influence public opinion and the British Parliament to persuade the British Parliament
  • Olaudah led a delegation to the House of Commons to support William Dolben's bill to improve slave treatment on slave ships
  • Equiano traveled all over Europe and lectured people on how his life was as a slave and how he is improving other slaves' lives and that citizens should help their cause.
  • Equiano worked with other abolitionists like Thomas Clarkson

Olaudah Equiano's life bio

  • Former slave, seaman and merchant
  • He wrote an autobiography about the hardships and difficulties of the slave life
  • He was born in Nigeria and was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery
  • he was once a slave in Barbados, but was then shipped to Virginia
  • In 1757 he was bought by naval captain, Captain Pascal, he was nicknamed Gustavas Vassa (bought for 40 euros)
  • He was 12 when he first arrived in England
  • Part of the time he was in England he spent time with the Guerin family who were relatives of Pascal (In Blackheath, London)
  • With these relatives Equino learned how to read, write and learn arithmetic
  • In 1763 Equino was sold to Captain James Doran
  • He was brought to Montserrat and sold to Robert king the island’s leading merchant
  • He had two daughters Ann Maria Vassa and Joanna Vassa
  • He also had a wife named Susanna Cullen who like Ann Maria died early