Rare first edition of Harriet Wilson’s book returns to New Hampshire

PORTSMOUTH – A rare and precious first edition novel published in 1859 by Harriet E. Wilson, the mother of the African American novel, came home to New Hampshire this week. Three days of celebrations to express appreciation for this gift culminated in a reading of selections from the book at First Congregational Church in Milford, NH on Jan. 22.

Wilson is the first Black woman to publish a novel in English. Rebecca Davis found the copy of “Our Nig; or Sketches in the Life of a Free Black,” in a safe dela when setting her husband’s estate. Originally published in Boston, a strong belief that Wilson’s book should be home in New Hampshire, led Davis to the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire. Longtime supporters John and Shaye Robinson immediately stepped forward to assist with the acquisition.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.