Austin Steward

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(1793 – 1860)

” I was born in Prince William County, Virginia. At seven years of age, I found
myself a slave on the plantation of Capt. William Helm. Our family consisted of
my father and mother – whose names were Robert and Susan Steward – a sister,
Mary, and myself. As was the usual custom, we lived in a small cabin, built of
rough boards, with a floor of earth, and small openings in the sides of the  cabin were substituted for windows.”


Thus began the story of Austin Steward in his book entitled “Twenty-Two Years A Slave, and Forty Years a Freeman”. In chapters 4 – 6, this books tells the story of Austin, as a teenager, moving with a group of slaves from their plantation in Virginia  to Sodus Bay just before the War  of 1812. Later they would move again to Bath, New York.


To read of their adventures on Sodus Bay, please click on this link: