Henry “Box” Brown Mails Himself from Slavery to Freedom 173 Years Ago #OnThisDay (LISTEN)

todayMarch 30, 2022 1

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by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Henry “Box” Brown gave literal meaning to the term “precious cargo” 173 years ago today, when he ingeniously shipped himself from enslavement in Virginia to freedom in Philadelphia by hiding inside a crate. Listen:

You can follow or subscribe to the Good Black News Daily Drop Podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or create your own RSS Feed. Or just check it out every day here on the main website (transcript below):


Hey, this Lori Lakin Hutcherson, founder and editor in chief of, here to share with you a daily drop of Good Black News for Tuesday, March 29th, 2022, based on the “A Year of Good Black News Page-A-Day Calendar” published by Workman Publishing.

173 years ago on March 29, 1849, Henry “Box” Brown escaped to freedom in a most ingenious way — he had himself mailed in a wooden crate from Virginia to abolitionists in Philadelphia. To get out of work on the day of his escape, Brown burned his hand to the bone with sulfuric acid.

All together, the extremely rough journey took 27 hours, but Brown succeeded and was celebrated for his inventiveness.

His status as a fugitive from slavery led Brown to move to England in 1850, but in 1875 he returned to the United States, where he toured and performed as a speaker, mesmerist and magician, pulling off feats of prestidigitation until his dying day.

To learn more about Brown, read Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself, originally published in 1851 or read 2020’s BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Michele Wood.

Links to these and other sources are provided in today’s show notes and in the episode’s full transcript posted on 

This has been a daily drop of Good Black News, based on the “A Year of Good Black News Page-A-Day Calendar for 2022,” published by Workman Publishing.

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