Video & Photos: Unveiling Of Mary Prince Plaque

February 7, 2018 | 15 Comments

A plaque was unveiled at School Lands Cottages — where Mary Prince once lived — with Bishop Vernon Lambe unveiling the BNT-commissioned plaque, saying it serves as a reminder of her “invaluable contribution towards freedom.”

The BNT commissioned the plaque to commemorate her life and accomplishments, and speaking today, BNT Director Bill Zuill said the plaque will serve as a permanent reminder of her life, noting that her book helped to bring about the end of slavery.

Mary Prince was a Bermudian born into slavery who lived at School Lands Cottages and also near Devonshire Marsh. She later traveled to England, and wrote “The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave” in 1831, with her first hand account of slavery helping to galvanise the anti-slavery movement.

In naming her a Bermuda National Hero back in 2012, the Government said, ”She was the first black woman to publish a book about the brutality of slavery. Mary Prince’s book ‘The History of Mary Prince’ published in 1831, is significant because it was instrumental in helping to dismantle slavery in Bermuda and the Caribbean.

“According to biographical records, it was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the UK. A first-hand description of the brutalities of enslavement, released at a time when slavery was still legal in the British Caribbean colonies and Bermuda, it had a galvanising effect on the anti-slavery movement. Mary Prince spoke of slavery with the authority of personal experience.”

Her book is the only first-hand account of slavery by a Bermudian the Government noted, and she is regarded internationally as an unsung heroine of the abolition movement.

“Oh the horrors of slavery,” Ms Prince wrote in her book. “How the thought of it pains my heart! But the truth ought to be told of it; and what my eyes have seen I think it is my duty to relate; for few people in England know what slavery is.

“I have been a slave, I have felt what a slave feels, and I know what a slave knows; and I would have all the good people in England to know it too, that they may break our chains, and set us free.”

“How can slaves be happy when they have the halter round their neck and the whip upon their back? And are disgraced and thought no more of than beasts? And are separated from their mothers, and husbands, and children, and sisters, just as cattle are sold and separated? Is it happiness for a driver in the field to take down his wife or sister or child, and strip them, and whip them in such a disgraceful manner?”

While unveiling the plaque today at the School Lands Lane property, Bishop Lambe said, “We shall never forget what she has done for people who were in slavery. Now, we stand in freedom, and to declare this plaque to be viewed by all and to celebrate Mary Prince.”

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Mary Prince Plaque Bermuda Feb 7 2018 34534

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Comments (15)

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  1. Upset voter says:

    A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey quotes

    • VERY NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Now for Cup Match lets change Somers Day to Mary Prince Day.
      Sounds more logical to me, or we dont to upset some people that would think that they feel left out of the only two day Holiday celebrated for emanicapted Africans.
      I dont take it from Sir George Somers being a excellent seasoned Admiral, who is highly recognized, but can someone explain why Mary Prince should not have that Day named after her other then Sir George Somers?
      Sincerely asking.

      • Micro says:

        Shall we recognise Sir George Somers as a national hero?

        • The question is what is more LOGICAL, having Sir George Somers associated with Emancipation Day or Mary Prince associated with Emancipation Day.
          I know its hard for some people to accept but I think it Pathetic and Embarrassing to have a European Admiral being honoured for Emancipation Day over a woman who was born in slavery,lived through its brutal events and helped the anti-slavery movement take place.
          Sensible and ittellectual dialoge may be hard for some.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Do you ever get tired of posting utter BS ?

        Sincerely asking .

  2. J R Smith says:

    #neverforget

  3. Pure Madness!!!!!! says:

    Please forgive me for not knowing, but where is this property.

  4. Andrea says:

    Across from Dandy Town

  5. Upset voter says:

    It is ok because most of us don’t know but I believe it is on St.Johns Road across from the Dandy Town Club and you go up the hill. Still not 100% but I think that is where it is.

  6. This is very thoughtful and well deserved, but I would like to see the day that this story, along with many others will become a part of our educational curriculum, because I never had a clue to who this woman was or Sally Bassett for that matter, because we were never taught it in school.

    It is high time that we get away from the colonial history that was in breaded in many of us who came through the education system through the 60′s, 70′s & 80′s, and even to this very day, I do not see my children and grandchildren being taught this side of History in our Schools.

    It is a crying shame when we can recognize someone as important as Ms. Mary Prince and the majority in this country born and raised don’t have clue to who she is, or more importantly what her story was.

  7. Warwick West says:

    Long overdue and so very, very, worthy.

    Well done all who made this happen.

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