The History of Mary Prince


Mary Prince was born into enslavement in Bermuda. The history of Mary Prince, related by herself, is a first-person account of the horrifically brutal treatment experienced by Prince, and others, as she was bought and sold on between slave-‘owners’. She describes a system in which ‘mothers could only weep and mourn over their children, they could not save them from cruel masters – from the whip, the rope, and the cow-skin’.

Published in 1831, Prince’s History was hugely important in the campaign to abolish the slave system. It is the first published account of enslavement written by a woman; a number of formerly enslaved men living in England, such as Olaudah Equiano, had previously published memoirs.

After the book’s publication, very little is known of Prince’s life.

Full title:
The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave. Related by herself.
1831, London
Mary Prince
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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