Prince’s History is the result of the work of an abolitionist storytelling, compiling, and editing team with Prince as storyteller, Susanna Strickland (later Moodie) as compiler, and Thomas Pringle as editor and the financial backer of the project. The original pamphlet, published in 1831, was forty-four numbered pages, plus two unnumbered pages in length. Twenty-three of these pages were devoted to Prince’s History. The remaining twenty-three pages were comprised of the unnumbered preface and the supplement, both written by Pringle, and an appendix. The appendix was a relatively short slave narrative titled “Narrative of Louis Asa-Asa, a Captured African.”
There are many gaps in Prince’s History. One type of gap was due to the constraint of space. What would be included in those twenty-three pages devoted to the History? And what would be left out? Researchers, including myself, are working to fill them.
My February 6, 2014 blog post outlines how the maintenance building at the Ocean Club Golf Club, Devonshire, Bermuda fills one of these gaps. It was once the home where Prince’s mother was living when Prince and her two younger sisters, Hannah and Dinah, were readied for the slave auction.
In the narrative, there is only one sentence that refers to this and gives the clue of where to look. Prince indicates that at the time her mother was at the home of the child slave-owner Betsey Williams’s father’s sister’s house. Who was this aunt? and Where was her home? If you are interested to find out more, please refer to the already mentioned blog post.
A similar type of gap exists in the text when Prince ran away from the Ingham farm. Again, only one sentence refers to where she went. She reports that she “went to her mother, who was living with Mr. Richard Darrel” (70). Who was Richard Darrel (now spelled Darrell)? Where was his home? and how did Prince’s mother happen to be living there? Read the rest of this entry »