Mary Prince: Google Dedicates A Doodle To The Abolitionist Of Slavery
On the 230th anniversary of the birth of this true heroine, the seeker recalls the importance of the fight against slavery on the entire planet.
At a time when humanity is surprised by the emergence of new cases of slavery and trafficking in persons in any of its forms, the Google search engine dedicates its doodle this Monday to Mary Prince, a woman who dedicated much of her life to defend this cause.
Although Prince was born in Brackish Pond , on the island of Bermuda, in 1788, in a house belonging to David Trimmingham. When her master died, the family was sold on numerous occasions, until she was separated among several families and she ended up working in the extraction of salt in the Turks and Caicos Islands and suffering repeated abuses of all kinds by her master at that time.
After several twists and turns, the young woman ended up residing on the island of Antigua in 1815 as the property of John Adams Wood for whom she took care of her son and washed his clothes, while he began to suffer the symptoms of rheumatism . But these were also her first contacts with freedom since in the absence of Adams, she earned her own money selling coffee to sailors who arrived at the port and washed clothes.
On that same island, he made contact in 1817 with the church of Moravia , where he was baptized and taught to read. In 1826 she married Daniel James , a former slave who bought his freedom saving money and who now earned a living as a carpenter; which was not well seen by their masters, who did not want to have a black and free man living in their house.
But in England slavery was not allowed since the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1808, even though, in practice, it was still practiced in the British colonies. Thus, Prince was left legally free by Adams Wood , although he lacked the means to maintain himself since he was assured that ” nobody would hire her “. On the other hand, if she tried to return to her husband, she ran the risk of being enslaved again.
In this way, he sought help at the Moravian Church in Hatton Garden, where he began working for Thomas Pringle , a writer and abolitionist who worked for the Anti Slavery Society. With her help, and before the Wood’s return to Antigua, in 1829, Mary Prince became the first woman to present a petition to the British Parliament, in defense of her human right to freedom. That same year, the anti-slavery “abolitionist” movement introduced a bill proposing that any slave of the West Indies brought to England by their owners should be released.
The project did not prosper , but it served as an impetus for the beginning of changes in favor of the abolitionist cause. In this context, two years later Prince published at Pringle’s urging his autobiography, which became the first slave story in England written by a black woman. The book, which in a short time exhausted three impressions , was decisive in converting British public opinion against the centennial institution of human enslavement.
” The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave “ was the starting point for the Slavery Abolition Act to become effective in 1834 by Parliament. After a brief period of transition of the economy in the British colonies, on August 1, 1838, about 80 thousand slaves living in the British colonies throughout the Caribbean were liberated and Mary Prince reached the rank of national hero although no one I knew for sure where he was.
In 1833 she testified in two court cases for defamation, but there is no record of her leaving England or of her probable return to Bermuda or Antigua to reunite with her husband.