Interactive Timeline

From the Olaudah Equiano/Gustavus Vassa: African or American? module of Uncovering History.

One of the ways that we make sense of our own lives, and those of others, is through a chronology. We try to tell stories by linking together dates and events. The timeline below is a chronology of the life of Equiano/Vassa, as he presented it himself in his own writing. Some of the dates and facts in this timeline are disputed, as we explore in this module.

Some words are underlined in this timeline. Those terms and phrases indicate claims made, at different times and in different places, about the location of Equiano’s birth. They should help provide a chronological guide to those claims.

  • If you're on a laptop, click and drag on the timeline to scroll through the events, or use the navigational arrows in the box below the timeline to go in sequential order.
  • If you're on a tablet or mobile device, swipe to navigate above or below the timeline.
  • You can click on the events in the timeline to view them in any order, on any accepted device.
  • Click on an image in a timeline entry. Then click again to zoom in. A mouse or finger can then be used to view different parts of the zoomed-in image.

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