Mr. and Mrs. Prince by Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina
How an Extraordinary Eighteenth-Century Family Moved Out of Slavery and into Legend

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Synopsis

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.

Lucy Terry, a devoted wife and mother, was the first known African-American poet and 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 has intrigued but eluded many until now.

 

About Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina

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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 the 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.
 
Published July 28, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 274 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Gerzina and her husband track the Princes’ movements through purchases, medical records and court papers, especially those documenting the antagonism between the couple and their racist white neighbor, John Noyes, who continually attacked the family in order to drive them out.

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Feb 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an E...

Bookmarks Magazine

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.

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an E...

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