Olaudah Equiano (1745 – 31 March 1797) was a freed slave who supported the British movement to end the slave trade. His autobiography, published in 1789, helped in the creation of the Slave Trade Act 1807 which ended the African trade for Britain and its colonies.
His last "owner" was Robert King, an American Quaker merchant who allowed Equiano to purchase his freedom in 1766. Equiano settled in England in 1767 and worked and traveled for another 20 years as a seafarer, merchant, and explorer in the Caribbean, the Arctic, the American colonies, South and Central America, and the United Kingdom.
In London, Equiano was part of the Sons of Africa, an abolitionist group composed of prominent Africans living in Britain, and he was active among leaders of the anti-slave trade movement in the 1780s. He published his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, depicted the horrors of slavery. It went through nine editions and aided passage of the British Slave Trade Act of 1807, which abolished the African slave trade.
In 1792, Equiano married an Englishwoman, Susanna Cullen, and they had two daughters. Equiano died in 1797 in London; his gravesite is unknown.
Ten years after his death in 1797, the English slave trade was finally abolished.
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