The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave Narrative

TitleThe History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave Narrative
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsPrince, Mary
Number of Pages80
PublisherDover Publications
CityMineola, NY

Mary Prince dictated her history to a white woman in England, where she finally claimed her freedom after a life of horrendous abuse under several masters. Among other events, Mary's history includes daily beatings by sadistic masters who, while entrusting her with considerable responsibility, punished the tiniest fault with insane cruelty. It describes her ten-year stint working long hours in the salt ponds of Turk's Island, labor that broke her health. It shows her growing attraction to religion and her attempts to receive spiritual instruction. The  book is compelling on two levels: as a detailed personal account of the appalling oppression of black slaves in the West Indies, and as a look at the compassionate work of anti-slavery activists. Mary Prince's history triggered a lawsuit and countersuit when it was published in 1831. It was instantly in great demand by the public and was of great value in the campaign against the slave trade.

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