Born into slavery about 1815 at The Hermitage Plantation near here, Henry Brown was working in Richmond by 1830. Brown mailed himself to Philadelphia, and freedom, on 23 Mar. 1849 inside a three-foot-long box. Brown became a spokesperson for the abolitionist movement and symbol of the Underground Railroad. He published with Charles Stearns the Narrative of Henry Box Brown and exhibited a moving panorama, “The Mirror of Slavery.” Forced to leave the country in Oct. 1850 after the Fugitive Slave Act because of the threat of reenslavement, Brown moved to Great Britain where he toured as an entertainer. He returned to the United States in 1875 and died sometime after 1889.
Marker: W-235, Virginia Department of Historic Resources (2011)