America’s first vampire was Black and revolutionary – it’s time to remember him

What is so remarkable about this story is that it is an anti-slavery narrative from the early 1800s which also contains America’s first vampire who is Black. It is also perhaps the first short story to advocate the emancipation of slaves, released 14 years before Lydia Child published An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans, which is widely considered the first anti-slavery book.

Surprisingly, this ground-breaking text is relatively unknown, even in Gothic circles. It appears in none of the seminal histories of the vampire, for example, and is not included in any of the classic and recent collections of vampire short fiction. There is one online edition, a labour of love, excellently prepared, to enable the teaching of the text by the Americans, Ed White and Duncan Faherty.

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