William Grimes (1784-1865) was the son of Benjamin Grymes and an enslaved servant. Grimes suffered from physical abuse in the house and in the field. In 1814 he escaped slavery by travelling to New York. After that he became a successful businessman, but he lost all of his property when his master discovered his place and forced him to buy his freedom. In 1825 Grimes wrote his autobiography Life of William Grimes: The Runaway Slave in the aim of getting back some of his lost property. He published a second edition of his autobiography in 1855, updating it with some humorous stories.