‘There is no good in the country of the Christians for a Muslim’, states Ayuba Suleiman Diallo in this letter in Arabic, which he probably wrote while enslaved in Maryland after his capture on the coast of Senegal in 1731. Announcing to ‘all the Muslims of Bondu’ that he is alive, he appeals to the rulers of the country and his family to ensure that his two wives do not remarry.

Diallo returned to his home of Bondu in Senegal in 1734, having attained his freedom and spent about a year in England. Upon his return, he discovered that his father had died and that one of his wives – believing him dead – had remarried. Diallo forgave her, saying: ‘I was gone to a land from whence no Pholey [Fulbe] ever yet returned; therefore she is not to be blamed, nor the man neither.’