Micheaux wrote seven novels. In 1913, 1000 copies of his first book, The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Homesteader were printed. He published the book anonymously, for unknown reasons. Based on his experiences as a homesteader and the failure of his first marriage, it was largely autobiographical. Although character names have been changed, the protagonist is named Oscar Devereaux. His theme was about African Americans' realizing their potential and succeeding in areas from which they were previously excluded.
ortunities that presented themselves, and that if white people could possess such nice homes, wealth and luxuries, so in time, could the colored people. "You're a fool", I would be told, and then would follow a lecture describing the time-worn long and cruel slavery, and after the emancipation, the prejudice and hatred of the white race, whose chief object was to prevent the progress and betterment of the negro. This excuse for the negro's lack of ambition was constantly dinned into my ears from the Kagle corner loafer to the minister in the pulpit, and I became so tired of it all that I declared that if I could ever leave M--pls I would never return. More, I would disprove such a theory and in the following chapters I hope to show that what I believed fourteen years ago was true.
LEAVING HOME--A MAIDEN
I was seventeen when I at last left M--pls. I accepted a rough job at a dollar and a quarter a day in a car manufacturing concern in