Fugitive Mail: The Deliverance of Henry "Box" Brown and Antebellum Postal Politics

  title={Fugitive Mail: The Deliverance of Henry "Box" Brown and Antebellum Postal Politics},
  author={Hollis Robbins},
  journal={American Studies},
  pages={25 - 5}
“Fugitive Mail: The Deliverance of Henry “Box” Brown and Antebellum Postal Politics” reconsiders the publication, reception, and revival of The Narrative of Henry “Box” Brown (1849, 1851) the story of a slave who successfully mailed himself from Richmond, Virginia to Philadelphia, in the context of the postal system’s role in the abolitionist movement. Nearly all of the scholarly treatments of Brown’s narrative in the last decade emphasize and celebrate the shipment of “Box” Brown as a… 
36 Citations

Figures from this paper

Architectures of Captivity: Imagining Freedom in Antebellum America
Architectures of Captivity is a study of the literary construction of freedom through the paradoxical image of captivity. This project deals primarily with literature of the antebellum age, a
Scholars and jurists recognize Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis’s influential Harvard Law Review article, “The Right to Privacy,” as the first articulation of a constitutional right to privacy, but
Advocates of Freedom
During the nineteenth century and especially after the Civil War, scores of black abolitionists like Frederick Douglass, Moses Roper and Ellen Craft travelled to England, Ireland, Scotland, and parts
“It Is Time for the Slaves to Speak”
During their transatlantic journeys to Britain throughout the nineteenth century, African Americans engaged in what I term “adaptive resistance,” a multi-faceted interventionist strategy by which
The (Afro) Future of Henry Box Brown
Henry Box Brown, a Black man born into slavery in the American South, devised an unforeseen yet ingenious plan to achieve emancipation: he was shipped to the North in a cramped, wooden box. The first
Global Poverty, Injustice, and Resistance
Each year, millions of people die from poverty-related causes. In this groundbreaking and thought-provoking book, Gwilym David Blunt argues that the only people who will end this injustice are its
  • Everything Man
  • 2020
Adedze, Agbenyega. “Ghana at 50: A Review of Ghana’s Official History through Postage Stamps.” Paper presented at “Twelfth General Assembly: Governing the African Public Sphere,” codesria, Yaoundé,
Illegal Immigration as Resistance to Global Poverty
This article defends illegal immigration from the Global South to the Global North, while being agnostic about the right of the state to control borders. This argument is based on two premises: A)
  • Advocates of Freedom
  • 2020
  • Advocates of Freedom
  • 2020


Traumatic Theology in the Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself
In an 1859 essay entitled "The Great Conflict Requires Great Faith," abolitionist and minister J. W. C. Pennington complains that "influences are constantly bearing upon us strongly calculated to
Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910
In Bodies in Dissent Daphne A. Brooks argues that from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, black transatlantic activists, actors, singers, and other entertainers frequently transformed
American Slaves in Victorian England: Abolitionist Politics in Popular Literature and Culture
Introduction: communicating 'a correct knowledge of American slavery': J. B. Estlin and the 'breeder' in Frederick Douglass's Narrative 1. 'Exhibiting Uncle Tom in some shape or other': the
Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse
In the seven decades from its establishment in 1775 to the commercialization of the electric telegraph in 1844, the American postal system spurred a communications revolution no less far-reaching
Blind Memory: Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America, 1780-1865
Throughout this important volume, the author underscores two vital themes: one, that visual presentation of slavery in England and America has been utterly dishonest to its subject, and the other a
Correspondence and American literature, 1770-1865
Preface: universal letter writers 1. National letters 2. Emerson and Fuller's phenomenal letters 3. Melville's dead letters 4. Jacobs's letters from nowhere 5. Dickinson's lyrical letters Conclusion:
Address Delivered in Concord on the Anniversary of the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies, August 1, 1844,
  • 2001