She was just ten years old. No one knows for sure how it happened. She was kidnapped from her home, a village in Sierra Leone, taken to the coast, and sold into slavery...
This website documents the story of "Priscilla," an African child taken to South Carolina in 1756 aboard the slave ship "Hare," owned by Samuel and William Vernon of Newport, Rhode Island. Priscilla's story ties together the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the histories of Sierra Leone, South Carolina, and Rhode Island. This story recently emerged into the light of history through the efforts of writer Edward Ball and historian Joseph Opala. In May, 2005, Priscilla's story will come full circle when Thomalind Martin Polite, Priscilla's direct descendent, is welcomed home by the people of Sierra Leone.
"Priscilla's Homecoming" was developed by Yale University's Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. The website includes an extended essay, historical documents and photos, a bibliography, and brief statements by the people who rescued this story from obscurity. Curriculum materials for teachers will be added later; and when Mrs. Polite makes her historic journey to Africa in May, she will send daily messages to the website.
Thomas Thurston, Director of Education
Gilder Lehrman Center for the
Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
Yale Center for International and Area Studies
Editor, Teaching American History Discussion Network
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)