WILLIAM J. BROWN was educated in Providence, where he worked as a shoemaker and Baptist preacher, and was active in the temperance movement. Elderly, impoverished, and blind, he published his Life in 1883 as a means of supporting himself. JOANNE POPE MELISH is Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky and the author of Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and Race in New England, 1780-1860. ROSALIND C. WIGGINS was a retired Rhode Island teacher who specialized in African American history and biography. She died in 2005.