Did Olaudah Equiano visit Hull?
Hull, November 12, 1792.
The bearer hereof, Mr. GUSTAVUS VASSA, an African, is recommended to us
by the Rev. Dr. Peckard, Dean of Peterborough, and by many other very respectable characters,
as an intelligent and upright man; and as we have no doubt but the accounts we have received are grounded on the best authority, we recommend him to the assistance of the friends of humanity in this town, in promoting subscriptions to an interesting Narrative of his Life.
John Sykes, Mayor, R. A. Harrison, Esq
Thomas Clarke, Vicar, Jos. R. Pease, Esq
William Hornby, Esq of Gainsborough.
While this letter of recommendation demonstrates that Equiano had the support of prominent men in the locality, it does not prove that he visited Hull or East Yorkshire in the winter of 1792. Unlike other letters of the same nature, there is no personal testimony about Equiano or any confirmation within the text that these men had personally met the abolitionist. In addition, as of yet no evidence of Equiano’s presence has been found in local newspapers, or in the surviving memoirs of prominent local men. Thus, whether he visited the region remains a mystery.
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