Amos Fortune, Free Man

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Amos Fortune, Free Man
Amos Fortune.jpg
Original cover illustration
Author Elizabeth Yates
Illustrator Nora Spicer Unwin
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's novel
Publisher E. P. Dutton, New York
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 181
ISBN 0-14-034158-7
OCLC 19265732
974.4/00496073024 B 92 19
LC Class E185.97.F73 Y3 1989

Amos Fortune, Free Man is a biographical novel by Elizabeth Yates that won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1951.[1] It is about a young African prince who is captured and taken to America as a slave. He masters a trade, purchases his freedom and dies free in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, in 1801.

Amos Fortune, a young African prince of a tribe called the At-mun-shi, was born free in Africa in 1710. He lives a peaceful life until a raid on their village by slavers kills his father, the chief. At-mun is kidnapped, transported to America via the White Falcon (a slave ship), and sold in New England. Now called 'Amos', he is sold to a man named Caleb Copeland, and though the Copeland family do not treat him badly he rejects his slave status and determines to earn his freedom. He comes to an arrangement with Copeland, but when Caleb dies in debt the arrangement is disregarded, and so Amos Fortune is sold again to a man named Ichabod Richardson. Richardson teaches Amos about tanning, and he becomes a skilled worker. He is now about thirty. Amos works for Richardson for four years, then buys his freedom. He marries a woman named Lily, whose freedom he also buys; but she dies a year later. Amos is sad that she died, yet happy she died a free woman. Later he marries another African woman named Lydia, and it takes three more years to save up her freedom price. Lydia dies a year later. Again, Amos is sad she died but happy that she died free. He marries a younger woman named Violet, and he buys freedom for her daughter too. Amos moves to Jaffrey, New Hampshire to start his own tanning business there, and does so despite opposition. Eventually Amos saves up enough money that he buys his own land and he builds a house and a barn.

| last = Lambert
| first = Peter
| title = Amos Fortune, The Man and His Legacy
| url=
| publisher =  Amos Fortune Forum
| location = Jaffrey, NH
| year = 2000


  1. ^ American Library Association

External links

  • Book reviews on Amazon
Preceded by
The Door in the Wall
Newbery Medal recipient
Succeeded by
Ginger Pye
Preceded by
Winner of the
William Allen White Children's Book Award

Succeeded by
Little Vic
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