Clotel; or, The President's Daughter


In addition to being the first novel published by an African American, Clotel became a model that influenced many other nineteenth-century African-American writers.[2] It is the first instance of an African-American writer "to dramatize the underlying hypocrisy of democratic principles in the face of African American slavery."[7]

Through Clotel, Brown introduces into African-American literature the "tragic mulatto" character.[20][21] Such characters, representing the historical reality of hundreds of thousands of mixed-race people, many of them slaves, were further developed by "Webb, Wilson, Chesnutt, Johnson, and other novelists", writing primarily after the American Civil War.[20]

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