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Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary Eighteenth-Century Family Moved Out of Slavery and Into Legendby Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina
Synopses & Reviews
Merging comprehensive research and grand storytelling, Mr. and Mrs. Prince reveals the true story of a remarkable pre-Civil War African-American family, as well as the challenges that faced African-Americans who lived in the North versus the slaves who lived in the South.
Both accomplished people, Lucy Terry was a devoted wife and mother, and the first known African-American poet. Abijah Prince, her husband, was a veteran of the French and Indian Wars and an entrepreneur. Together they pursued what would become the cornerstone of the American dream — having a family and owning property where they could live, grow, and prosper. Owning land in both Vermont and Massachusetts, they were well on their way to settling in when bigoted neighbors tried to run them off. Rather than fleeing, they asserted their rights, as they would do many times, in court.
Here is a story that not only demonstrates the contours of slavery in New England but also unravels the most complete history of a pre-Civil War black family known to exist. Illuminating and inspiring, Mr. and Mrs. Prince uncovers the lives of those who could have been forgotten and brings to light a history that's intrigued but eluded many until now.
"Gerzina illuminates the deep shadows where free blacks in early New England, and elsewhere, still remain barely glimpsed....[An] often riveting first-person research report." Library Journal
"[A] meticulous and joyous...look at the Princes and the social and political landscape of enslaved and free black communities in New England." Booklist
"[A] moving...portrait of a striving family." New York Times
"History and mystery mix in this tale to make Mr. and Mrs. Prince as absorbing as it is surprising and informative." Christian Science Monitor
Merging exhaustively researched history and grand storytelling, Gerzina reveals the true story of a remarkable couple whose lives contain the paradoxes of slavery in New England. Illustrated.
About the Author
Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is the author and editor of several books, including Carrington; Black London (a New York Times notable book); Black Victorians, Black Victoriana; Frances Hodgson Burnett; and others. She is the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor in Biography at Dartmouth College, where she also chairs the English Department, the first African-American woman to do so in the Ivy League. She has won grants from Fulbright and the National Endowment for Humanities and hosts The Book Show, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program that airs on ninety stations across the country, interviewing current authors of literary fiction, biography, and history.
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