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Illustration showing 'Interior of a Negro House', 1826

After being sold, Mary Prince suffered every torture the minds of a series of brutal masters, mistresses, and their children could devise. She and her fellow slaves were flogged until near death; one of her friends expired after being flogged while pregnant. Eventually Mary ended up working in a salt mine on the Turks Island near Antigua:
“I was given a half barrel and a shovel, and had to stand up my knees in the water, from four o’clock in the morning till nine, when we were given some Indian corn boiled in water, which we were obliged to swallow as fast as we could for fear the rain should come on and melt the salt. We were then called again to our tasks, and worked through the heat of the day; the sun flaming upon heads like fire, and raising salt blisters in those parts which were not completely covered. Our feet and legs, from standing in the salt water for so many hours, soon became full of dreadful boils, which ate down in some cases to the very bone, afflicting the sufferers with great torment. We came home at twelve, ate our corn soup, called blawly, as fast as we could, and went back to our employment till dark at night…When we returned to our house, our master gave us each our allowance of raw Indian corn, which we pounded in a mortar and boiled in water for our supper. We slept in a long shed, divided into narrow slips, like the stalls used for cattle. Boards fixed upon stakes driven into the ground, without mat or covering, were our only beds. On Sundays, after we had washed the salt bags, and done other work required of us, we went into the bush and cut the long soft grass, of which we made trusses for our feet and legs to rest upon, for they were so full of the salt boils that we could get no rest lying upon bare boards.”

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