Archives and Special Collections
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013
Josiah Henson was born on June 15, 1789, as a slave in Charles County, Maryland. As a slave he was abused and lost his right ear. After an unsuccessful attempt to buy his own freedom, Henson escaped from slavery to Ontario, Canada in 1830. In Dawn, Ontario, he founded a school for fugitive slaves. He wrote an autobiography called The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself in 1849 and it is believed to have been Harriet Beecher Stowe’s inspiration for the famous novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Henson died on May 5, 1883 in Dresden, Ontario.