From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

American Fugitive Slaves in the British Metropolis (London, England)

The "American Fugitive Slaves in the British Metropolis" was an ad hoc association formed August 1, 1851, by American fugitives who were in exile in London, England. The organization was established to assist fugitive slaves in finding jobs, education, and settling in England. The organization was founded in response to the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 in the United States, which had prompted a greater influx of fugitives in England. There was also the influence of British abolitionists and the American abolitionists who were touring England, Scotland, and Wales; the men were lecturing against slavery in the United States. One of the touring abolitionists was William Wells Brown. Author R. J. M. Blackett mentions in his book, Building an Antislavery Wall, p.5, that not all American fugitives in England were destitute or survived by begging in the streets [as the Avery sisters had attempted]. Blackett noted that fugitive William Watson had enrolled in school. The "American Fugitive Slaves in the British Metropolis" was a short-lived organization.

For more information see R. J. M. Blackett, "Fugitive slaves in Britain: the odyssey of William and Ellen Craft," Journal of American Studies, April 1978, v.12, no.1, pp.41-62; and Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky by F. Frederick.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“American Fugitive Slaves in the British Metropolis (London, England),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 14, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-01-31 20:05:51