I was born in 1788 at Brackish Pond in Devonshire, Bermuda on a farm belonging to Charles Myners. Oppression, depression, humiliation, and pain is all I know. Throughout my miserable life, I have suffered in the hands of my masters but burning within my soul, is a small voice wanting to be heard, so that the truth could be told, and we could be free. How long must I remain silent, as my fellow slaves are abused. My name is Mary Prince, a black woman born into slavery, in the West indies and I refuse to be a victim forever.
In the year 1828, I travelled to England with the woods, subsequently running away to find my freedom. During the 1820s and early 1830s, a powerful network of women’s anti-slavery associations developed. I later got connected to a society in East London and it was there, I was able to share my experience as a slave (Gratus, J., & Clarkson, T. (1970, January 01).
With the campaign to support slavery still on the rise in the Caribbean, it was evident that my horrific story as a slave, would appealed to the anti-slavery campaigners because, it highlighted the effects of slavery upon domestic life. It also clearly depicted, the separation of slave families, and the nonexistence of a ‘normal’ married life. Along with the shame that came with sexual misuse, which was a constant battle for female slaves (F. Westly and A. H. Davis, London (1831, January).
In 1829-1830 my story was converted to standard English by Susanna Strickland, which has magnified my many acts of resistance. There were moments in which I surprised my owners by talking back or “rebuking” them (F. Westly and A. H. Davis, London (1831, January). I would sometimes seek out offers from potential new owners to escape current ones, and even marrying against the desire of the Woods. when too ill to work, I would simply refuse to do so. However, the ultimate act of defiance, was finally leaving the Woods family in England. This small but significant act of resistance, not only enabled me to survive a lifetime of misuse. But it pushed me to take up the abolitionist cause, on behalf of those who remain enslaved, without a platform to be heard, which eventually gave me the foundation, to pursue my own liberation (F. Westly and A. H. Davis, London (1831, January).
My book “The history of Mary Prince a West Indian Slave” became a major player, in the success of the anti-slavery campaign. Which help to influence the British Parliament, to pass the slavery abolition act in 1833 . It also sparked an awareness, in the minds of the British people, of the inhumane treatment of west Indian slaves, which is a sad reality of the slave trade, and confirms what it means to be a slave (S.P Panquet (April 01, 2012).
With the production of my life story, I have connected my individual life to the emancipation of slaves and the start of a new world and in so doing, I became an active agent in the historical search, for freedom of my people.
“I hope they will never leave off to pray God, and call loud to the great King of England, till all the poor blacks be given free, and slavery done up for evermore.” (Mary Prince, 1831).
I am an abolitionist and the first black woman to publish an account of my life as a slave in the Caribbean, considering my horrific past, my book “The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave”, narrated by myself, serves as the basis for emancipation of slaves in the West Indies and also helped to pave the way for black women, to express themselves in realizing their rights as a woman. My intimate story of mistreatment and survival, with a dream for freedom helped change the way the British view slaves, thus impacting the abolishment of slavery in the West Indies.