Timeline of Equiano (key dates)
1745 Olaudah Equiano born in Essaka, in what is now southeastern Nigeria.
1756 Kidnapped and is sold to various masters within Africa. Then endures the Middle Passage to Barbados and to Virginia.
1756 Bought by British Naval Officer Michael Henry Pascal and is renamed (against his will) Gustavus Vassa. Taken to England.
1756-62 Serves with Pascal in the Royal Navy in the Seven Years' War with France.
1759 Is baptized at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey, London.
1763-66 He is resold to Robert King in Montserrat and works on trading ships in the West Indies and on the mainland American colonies.
1766 Through petty trading on the side, Equiano saves enough money to buy his own freedom.
1767 Completing one last mission for his old master, Equiano is shipwrecked in
the Bahamas. Sails for London.
1768 Sails to Italy and Turkey. Slave uprising on Montserrat.
1772 Granville Sharp gets the Somerset decision, declaring that slavery cannot
exist in England and slaves setting foot there are free.
1773 Equiano on expedition to find an Arctic passage to India.
1774 Equiano tries unsuccessfully to save his friend John Annis from a vengeful former master. Annis is tortured to death in the West Indies. Equiano sails for
Spain and has a vision of Christ.
1775 Travels to the Mosquito Coast, Central America, with Dr. Irving to establish a plantation and to Christianize the Indian population.
1776 Returns to London. American Declaration of Independence signed.
1783 Equiano informs abolitionist Granville Sharp of Zong massacre (1781),
which adds further emotional reactions to the anti-slave trade movement.
1784 Equiano sails for New York.
1785 Equiano in Philadelphia.
1786 Equiano appointed commissary to Sierra Leone recolonization expedition on the Committee for Relief of Black Poor in London.
1787 Dismissed from Sierra Leone expedition. Helps organize Sons of Africa in London. Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade formed in England.
1788 Equiano presents anti slave trade petition to England's Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. Abolitionists petition British Parliament to end the slave trade.
1789 Equiano publishes his Interesting Narrative. French Revolution begins.
1790 The Narrative is printed in Dutch.
1791 Narrative printed in New York. Slave revolt in St. Dominique (Haiti).
1792 Marries Englishwoman Susan Cullen.
1797 Equiano dies in London.