--"Yet press on!
For it shall make you mighty among men;
And from the eyrie of your eagle thought,
You shall look down on monarchs!"
In 1852, Mr. Brown found, from the shortness of the lecturing season, which in England lasts only from November to May, and its furnishing a precarious means of living, that he must adopt some other mode of providing support for himself and his daughters, and therefore, through the solicitation of some of his literary friends, commenced writing for the English press. Not having received a classical education, he had often to re-write his articles. His contributions were mainly on American questions. For instance, his articles on the death of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, the return of Anthony Burns, were gladly received by the London press, and the fugitives was liberally paid for his labors. The writer of this has known Mr. Brown to be engaged all night, after the arrival of an American mail, in writing for a morning newspaper. In the autumn of 1852, he published his "Three Years in Europe," which paid him well. The criticisms on this work brought the fugitive prominently before the public, and gave him a position among literary men never before enjoyed by any colored American. The London
The London Literary Gazette , in speaking of the book, remarked:-- "The appearance of this book is too remarkable a literary event to pass without a notice. At the moment when attention in this country is directed to the state of the colored people in America, the book appears with additional advantage; if nothing else were attained by its publication, it is well to have another proof of the capability of the negro intellect. Altogether, Mr. Brown has written a pleasing and
"That a man," said the Morning Chronicle , "Who was a slave for the first twenty years of his life, and who has never had a day's schooling, should produce such a book as this, cannot but astonish those who speak disparagingly of the African race."
The London Critic pronounced it a "pleasingly and well written book." "It is," said the Athenĉum, "racy and amusing." The Eclectic Review , in its long criticism, has the following:-- "The extraordinary excitement produced by 'Uncle Tom's Cabin will, we hope, prepare the public of Great Britain and America for this lively book of travels by a real fugitive slave. Though he never had a day's schooling in his life, he has produced a literary work not unworthy of a highly-educated gentleman. Our readers will find in these letters much instruction, not a little entertainment, and the beatings of a manly heart on behalf of a down-trodden race, with which they will not fail to sympathise."
The British Banner , edited by Dr. Campbell, said:-- "We have read this book with an unusual measure of interest. Seldom, indeed, have we met with any thing more captivating. It somehow happens that all these fugitive slaves are persons of superior talents. The pith of the volume consists in narratives of voyages and journeys made by the author in England; Scotland, Ireland and France; and we can assure our readers that Mr. Brown has travelled to some purpose. The number of white men is not great who could
The Provincial papers and the London press united in their praise of this, the first literary production of travels by a fugitive slave. The Glasgow Citizen , in its review, remarked:--"W. Wells Brown is no ordinary man, or he could not have so remarkably surmounted the many difficulties and impediments of his training as a slave. By dint of resolution, self-culture and force of character, he has rendered himself a popular lecturer to a British audience, and vigorous expositor of the evils and atrocities of that system whose chains he has shaken off so triumphantly and for ever. We may safely pronounce William Wells Brown a remarkable man, and a full refutation of the doctrine of the inferiority of the negro."
The Glasgow Examiner said:--"This is a thrilling book, independent of adventitious circumstances, which will enhance its popularity. The author of it is not a man in America, but a chattel,--a thing to be bought, and sold, and whipped; but in Europe, he is an author, and a successful one, too. He gives in this book an interesting and graphic description of a three year's residence in Europe. The book will no doubt
The Caledonian Mercury concludes and article of more than two columns of criticism and extracts as follows:--"The profound anti-slavery feeling produced by 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' needed only such a book as this, which shows so forcibly the powers and capacity of the negro intellect, to deepen the impression."
Mr. Brown's criticism on Thomas Carlyle brought about his ears a whirlwind of remarks from the friends of the distinguished Scotchman, while a portion of the press sided with the fugitive, and pronounced the article ably written and most just in its criticism. The following is the offensive part of the essay, and refers to his meeting Mr. Carlyle in an omnibus:--
"I had scarcely taken my seat, when my friend, who was seated opposite me, with looks and gestures informed me that we were in the presence of some distinguished individual. I eyed the countenances of the different persons, but in vain, to see if I could find any one who, by his appearance, showed signs of superiority over his fellow-passengers. I had given up the hope of selecting the person of note, when another look from my friend directed my attention to a gentleman seated in the corner of the omnibus. He was a tall man, with strongly marked features, hair dark and coarse. There was a slight stoop of the shoulder,--that bend which is always a characteristic of studious men. But he wore on his countenance a forbidding and disdainful frown, that seemed to tell one that he thought himself better than those about him. His dress did not indicate