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Statue to be placed in honour of Mary Prince

A statue in honour of a Bermudian-born slave who became a significant figure in the abolitionist movement in Britain is to be honoured with a statue.

Mary Prince used her tragic life story to highlight the cruelty of the trade in human beings and bolstered the struggle to abolish the practice in what was then the British Empire.

Her autobiography, The History Of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave, printed in Britain in 1831, was the first account of a slave to be published by a woman.

Possible locations for the statue could include the site of a cave in which Ms Prince hid after she escaped from her Bermudian “owner”.

Lovitta Foggo, the community affairs minister, said that research had revealed the cave's exact location, which is on private land in an unspecified location.

The announcement came after a debate over the addition of Mary Prince's name to one of the days in the Cup Match holiday, which commemorates emancipation.

Michael Weeks, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, has asked for Somers Day, named after Sir George Somers, whose shipwreck led to Britain's colonisation of Bermuda, to be moved elsewhere in the calendar.

The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs has started research on what Ms Prince looked like.

Ms Foggo said Ms Prince lived before photography, but accounts from contemporaries could help create a near-likeness for a statue.

Ms Prince became the island's fifth national hero in 2012.

Margot Maddison-MacFadyen, a historian from Canada, was appointed to research the life of Ms Prince, including her later days.

Dr Maddison-MacFadyen holds a PhD from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she graduated in May 2017.

She recently visited nine schools in Bermuda to discuss her research on Mary Prince and her work will be used to help select the location for a statue.

Ms Foggo said the department also hoped to place markers at significant spots in Ms Prince's life around the island to help the public to “really make a more tangible connection with Mary Prince”.

An image of 'Mary Prince' from an edition of her autobiography (File photograph)

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Published March 20, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated March 20, 2019 at 12:22 pm)

Statue to be placed in honour of Mary Prince

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