Who knows about this story?

Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary Eighteenth-Century Family Moved Out of Slavery and Into Legend tells the tale of the Princes as a story-within-a-story. Shortly after moving to Guilford, Vt., Gerzina and her husband, Anthony, were surprised to learn that in the early 1800s a pair of freed black slaves had owned a farm near their own home.

It turned out that legends of the couple abounded. Lucy (who was born in Africa and kidnapped into slavery) was lauded in various sources as a “prodigy in conversation,” a confident, charismatic, educated woman who wrote verse, excelled as a storyteller, and who “captivated all around her” with “the fluency of her speech.”

But that wasn’t all. Local lore further indicated that she had learned to argue for her rights in a court of law, ultimately taking a case all the way to the US Supreme Court. She was also credited with once making an impassioned, albeit unsuccessful, plea to see her son admitted as the first black person to study at Williams College.

I really hope that this is a true story, but the authors were not able to substantiate it. Can EphBlog help?

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