Written by three of the most prominent black writers of the nineteenth century, this trio of compelling early classics of African-American literature paints unforgettable portraits of strength and determination framed by the shackles of slavery. Abolitionist authors Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown, and spiritualist Harriet E. Wilson were former slaves whose writings transformed their hardships into stunning depictions of racial oppression.Based on a true story, Frederick Douglass' The Heroic Slave is a dramatic fictional retelling of how the determined and courageous Madison Washington led a slave rebellion aboard the ship Creole. In Clotel, the first novel ever written by an African American, William Wells Brown tells a prophetic story about a child conceived by Thomas Jefferson and one of his slaves. And in Our Nig, Harriet E. Wilson's heartrending semi-autobiographical tale, she describes the life of a mulatto girl who, after the death of her mother, is exploited by a terrifying Northern family . . . and then, by the man she marries. Emotionally powerful and historically authentic, this collection is essential reading for students and teachers of African-American history and culture.