Amos Fortune, Free Man

by Elizabeth Yates

Start Free Trial

What is the setting in Amos Fortune: Free Man? Where and when did this happen?

Amos Fortune: Free Man is set between the years of 1725 and 1801.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Amos Fortune: Free Man takes place between the years 1725 and 1801. Although the story begins in Africa, the majority of the narrative occurs in the New England states.

The central character in the narrative, Amos Fortune, is kidnapped from his home in At-mun-shi village near the Gold Coast of Africa, in 1725. He is a prince in his village, but, together with the most able-bodies members of his tribe, he is marched by slavers to the coast, where the captives are sold to the captain of a slave ship, the White Falcon. From there, they are taken on a harrowing journey across the sea, to Boston, Massachusetts, where they are again sold at market.

Amos Fortune is bought by a Quaker man and his wife, and lives with them in Boston for fifteen years. During this time, he becomes a Christian and learns the trade of weaving. In 1740, Amos is sold to a tanner in nearby Woburn, Massachusetts, where he lives and works under his new master, until he secures his freedom in 1769. As a free man, Amos stays on in Woburn for awhile, starting a family of his own and working as a tanner until 1781. At that time, he moves with his wife and children to Jaffrey, New Hampshire, where he continues in his occupation as a tanner, establishing his own business in the little town.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team