Image of Josephine Brown


Lifetime: 1839 - 1874 Passed: ≈ 150 years ago


Teacher, Biographer


United States

Josephine Brown

Elizabeth Josephine Brown (June 12, 1839 – January 16, 1874) was the daughter and biographer of escaped African-American slave William Wells Brown and his first wife Elizabeth Schooner. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, and educated at the New York Central College in McGrawville, New York.


Elizabeth Josephine Brown was a strong advocate for abolition and women's rights. She was also a devout Christian. Her principles were guided by her faith and her belief in the equality of all people.

Famous for

Elizabeth Josephine Brown is best known for her book Biography of an American Bondman, by His Daughter, which was published in 1856. It was the first biography of an African American written by a woman. The book was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to raise awareness of the abolitionist cause.

Notable works

In addition to her biography of her father, Elizabeth Josephine Brown also wrote a number of other works, including:

  • Poems (1860)
  • The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements (1863)
  • The Story of My Life (1870)


Elizabeth Josephine Brown's philosophy was based on her faith in God and her belief in the equality of all people. She believed that all people, regardless of their race, gender, or social status, were created in the image of God and deserving of respect. She also believed that education was essential for social progress.

Death and legacy

Elizabeth Josephine Brown died on January 16, 1874, at the age of 34. She is buried in Cambridge Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Brown is remembered as a pioneering writer and activist who fought for the rights of African Americans and women.

Interesting fact

Elizabeth Josephine Brown was the first African American woman to publish a novel. Her novel, The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements, was published in 1863.


Elizabeth Josephine Brown was a remarkable woman who made significant contributions to American literature and culture. She was a gifted writer, a passionate advocate for social justice, and a role model for generations of African American women.

Books by Josephine Brown

Biography of an American Bondman, By His Daughter Cover image

Biography of an American Bondman, By His Daughter

Slavery Escape Autobiography Journey Life America United States Abolitionism

From slave to freedom fighter: The incredible story of an American Bondman, told by his daughter. Biography of an American Bondman, By His Daughter by Josephine Brown is a gripping and inspiring account of the life of William Wells Brown, an escaped...