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20 April 2014
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What Came FirstOdd One OutPrint and DoIn Living MemoryTeachers and ParentsHome

I was born in north England. My parents were poor farm workers. I decided to run away to sea. I was lucky to get a job on the boats carrying coal from Newcastle to London. I learned to be a very good sailor and taught myself to be a brilliant navigator.

When I was 28, a war started and I joined the Royal Navy. I was quickly made the Captain of my own ship. After the war, the Government chose me to lead an expedition to the South Seas.

I made three long voyages to Australia and New Zealand, the islands of the Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic and North America. I sailed further than any person before me and discovered many things.

I was born in Essaka, a small village in West Africa. When I was about 11 years old, I was kidnapped and sold as a slave. I never saw my family again. I was put on a ship and taken to America. It was a horrible experience. I was sold to an English sailor who took me to London.

For ten years I worked as a slave on ships that sailed around Europe. I taught myself to read and write. When I was 21, I paid my freedom. I carried on working. I visited many places and fought in wars. I saw how cruelly my fellow Africans were treated.

When I was 32, I settled in London and helped lead the campaign against slavery. I wrote a book about my life. It helped make British people realize that slavery was a terrible thing.

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