Extract from "The History of Mary Prince", 1831
The torture that Mary Prince and her fellows endured was not confined to their own physical abuse. The sights and sounds of day to day torment were also torture to the mind.
“Cruel horrible place! Mr D- had a slave called old Daniel, whom he used to treat in the most cruel manner. Poor Daniel was lame in the hip, and could not keep up with the rest of the slaves; and our master would order him stripped and laid down on the ground, and have him beaten with a rod of rough briar till his skin was quite red and raw. He would then call for a bucket of salt, and fling upon the raw flesh till the man writhed on the ground like a worm, and screamed aloud with agony. This poor man’s wounds were never healed, and I have often seen them full of maggots, which increased his torments to an intolerable degree. He was an object of pity and terror to the whole gang of slaves, and in his wretched case we saw, each of us, our own lot, if we should live to be old”.
At the time of her arrival in England she was not in good health, having suffered such unimaginable torments during her Caribbean ordeal. After her escape her cause was taken up by the Anti-Slavery Society. Thomas Pringle, the Society's Secretary, employed her as a domestic and tried to buy her freedom but John Wood refused. It was Pringle to whom Mary dictated her story, and he transcribed it for publication. In spite of fighting her case in court, in spite of the campaigning on her behalf, and the publicity generated by the publication of her autobiography, Mary remained the legal 'property' of Wood until the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean in 1834.