Plans Underway For Mary Prince Statue

March 18, 2019

Plans for the creation of a statue to honour one of Bermuda’s National Heroes, Mary Prince, are currently in the works at the Ministry of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports, the Ministry confirmed this evening.

“Mary Prince is famous for her slave narrative The History of Mary Prince [1831], which was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the United Kingdom. This first-hand description of enslavement, released at a time when slavery was still legal in Bermuda and British Caribbean colonies, had a galvanising effect on the anti-slavery movement,” the Ministry said.

“It is so important that we find a fitting way to honour Mary Prince – or ‘Mary James’, and ‘Molly Wood’ as she was also known,” said the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports Lovitta Foggo.

“As Mary Prince’s autobiographical narrative was instrumental in the abolition of slavery, not only in Bermuda but throughout the entire British Empire, this government is of the view that a statue be built in her honour. Obviously, due to the time in which she was living, there are no photographs of Mary Prince, but there are, of course, other ways to determine what she might have looked like – first-hand accounts from her contemporaries, for example.”

Overseas researcher Dr. Margot Maddison-MacFadyen was recently given a grant by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs to conduct research on Mary Prince, to learn more about her latter days. Her research will also help to determine where the statue will be placed, as the desire is to have it be somewhere of historical significance to Ms Prince’s life.

“One possible location being considered, along with several others, is the cave in which Mary hid after she escaped from her slave-owner,” said Minister Foggo. “Recent research has revealed the exact location of this cave, which is on private land, and we will be excited to share the location with the public in due course following discussions with the landowner. The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs has already begun research on the possible ‘look’ of a statue, in honour of Mary Prince.

“We would also like to be able to place physical markers at various other points of significance related to her life so that people can really make a more tangible connection with Mary Prince.”

“Dr. Maddison-MacFadyen recently visited nine local schools to present her research on Mary Prince,” the Ministry noted.  “Dr. Maddison-MacFadyen graduated in May 2017 with a PhD from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her dissertation is titled “Reclaiming Histories of Enslavement from the Maritime Atlantic and a Curriculum: The History of Mary Prince.”

“Her current Bermuda-based postdoctoral research project is titled “Mind the Onion Seed” because both Mary Prince and Mary Elsie Tucker [on whom her research is partly focused] recollect working for Bermuda slave-owners as cultivators, growing onions.”

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Comments (22)

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  1. Donderered says:

    Don’t we have a statue in cabinet grounds?

  2. Easy says:

    Wow we have all these problems and all we can come up with is to put a statue in a cave on private property. Can’t make this stuff up!

  3. Question says:

    “Overseas researcher Dr. Margot Maddison-MacFadyen was recently given a grant by the Department of Community and Cultural…”

    There are no Bermudian researchers?

  4. Times have changed says:

    New generation. I used to believe in plaques and statues but not after:
    1. Asking people where the Dr. Gordon plaque is and they dont know
    3. Asking people what the statue is in the Cabinet grounds

    What will this statue cost?
    In this electronic age we should consider this as an option.

  5. Tell Me Why says:

    With all the financial difficulties the island is going through, why on earth is government wasting money on statues? Can see where the money they are draining for the Corporations of Hamilton and St. Georges bank accounts are going.

  6. Hello says:

    Isn’t there already a statue of her on the grounds of Sessions House?

  7. Onion Juice says:

    A prerequisite for changing the name of the day.

  8. IambutIam says:

    I am glad for the African Bermuda Tour that community and cultural affairs sponsored so that we were able to get knowledge of her because I didn’t know of her or her importance in history!

    I hope they sponsor this tour again but make it longer and not just the month of February! This tour was very educational and informative and helped me to understand Mary Prince and her importance in our history and the whole British Empire history and the slavery in Bermuda, and of course Mary Prince!

    Next on the agenda is to change Somers Day to Mary Prince day PlEASE!

    • sandgrownan says:

      Will there also be statues to the secular humanists that also campaigned for the abolition of slavery, and by extension, the removal of nay religious artefacts?

  9. Rise says:

    In my humble opinion, I don’t think the statue should be located in a cave as it does not give Mary Prince the prominence that she is due.

  10. St.George's Passport and Immigration Control says:

    Typical dollar wasting plp.

  11. seascape says:

    I am not against this BUT where are we getting the money to do this now with so much more that needs to be dealt with. Save this for a time when we are in a good place with funds?????!!!!!

    • Onion Juice says:

      Same place where SpongeBob got $77 Million for a sailboat race for Billionsires after he told seniors “there is no money, you just dont get it”.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Tell me why we care about seniors again instead of our children? Maybe less tea parties and more focus on the Dept of Education perhaps, or is that going to take 17 years too?

      • Bullseye says:

        The one that netted 300 million for the economy? Wouldnt it be nice to have something like that now? No – let’s honor the dead, and pat each other on the back that we have poked a finger at the old white bogey man again.

      • CHRIS says:

        did you even read the AC Audit? oh wait… can you read?

  12. Kim Smith says:

    This is an excellent project but it would be nice to have the statue in a more visible, accessible place… and perhaps put one of the markers out at the cave site?