Joanna from John Gabriel Stedman's Narrative (1795)



London Published Decr. 2nd. 1793, by J. Johnson. St. Paul’s Church Yard.

*Engraving of Joanna the woman slave Stedman writes of that he purchases. The engraving and her description is in chapter 5 " The Scene changes—Some Account of a beautiful Female Slave—The Manner of travelling in Surinam—The Colonel explores the Situation of the Rivers—Barbarity of a Planter—Wretched Treatment of some Sailors." From the Book, 

of a five years’ expedition, against the
Revolted Negroes of Surinam,
in Guiana, on the wild coast of
South America;
from the year 1772, to 1777:
elucidating the History of that Country, and

the description of its productions, viz.
Quadrupedes, Birds, Fishes, Reptiles, Trees, Shrubs, Fruits, & Roots;
with an account of the Indians of Guiana, & Negroes of Guinea

Her breast is out and in comparison to other engravings of other POC women, she is lighter and more clothed than other slave women.  Engraving comparison below: 

*left is a woman sambo slave and the right is a woman Arrowuka

About Joanna from Narrative on April 11th, 1773 Stedman negotiates with Joanna's mother to purchase Joanna's services.  Stedman states she is a "Mulatto maid" who seems to be of 15 years of age. He states that she seemed more distinguished than the rest of her "species". 

Stedman writes of numerous exchanges and writes this of their condition:

Joanna's story becomes circulated around abolitionist circles including William Lloyd Garrison's. 

Joanna has a child named Johnny and Stedman was the father. While Johnny was freed from slavery, Joanna was not. 


(1744–1797), J. G. S. (2022, November 29). Narrative, of a five years' expedition against the revolted negroes of surinam, in Guiana on the Wild Coast of South America; from the year 1772 to 1777... volume 1 (of 2). External link. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from


Associated Place(s)

Timeline of Events Associated with Joanna from John Gabriel Stedman's Narrative (1795)


  • William Blake

Image Date: 

2 Dec 1793