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The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave -Title Page

The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave  -Title Page

Author: Prince, Mary

Medium: Letterpress

Date: 1831

Shelfmark: 8157.bbb.30

Item number: Title Page

Length: 20

Width: 11.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Printed Text

This is the title page of 'The History of Mary Prince.' It was published in 1831 and was the first substantial account of the life of an enslaved woman. Mary Prince was born in Bermuda in c.1788. After many years of labour in the Caribbean she was brought to England in 1828 by her owner, John Wood. By this time Mary was not in good health and was unable to work to the level required by Wood. Having suffered mistreatment and abuse, she managed to escape soon after arrival in England, finding refuge with some Moravian missionaries. Her plight was then 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. Mary recounted her story to Pringle and he transcribed it for publication. Despite fighting her case in court, the campaigning done 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.

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