The Heroic Slave is a short piece of fiction written by the abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The novella, published in 1852 by John P. Jewett and Company, was Douglass’ first and only published work of fiction.
The Heroic Slave is a fictional work inspired by Madison Washington, an enslaved cook who led a rebellion by slaves in November 1841. They succeeded in taking control of a ship en route from Virginia to New Orleans and ordered it sailed to Nassau in the Bahamas. A total of 135 slaves gained freedom there, as Britain had abolished slavery in 1839. It was the largest and most successful slave rebellion in United States history.