About this story
Previously enslaved, Jamaican Francis Barber arrives in the UK in 1752 and works for writer Samuel Johnson, who compiled the first authoritative English dictionary.
Learn more about this story’s themes with these links:
A contemporary picture, “probably of Francis Barber,” is owned by the Tate Gallery, London, but is not always on display. Dr Johnson’s house in Gough Square is now a museum. Samueljohnson.com has a copy of his will in which Barber was a legatee.