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Reviews of A Black Woman’s Odyssey Through Russia and Jamaica

“The author vividly describes local Russian customs, as well as her experiences of the St. Petersburg flood of 1824 and the Decembrist Revolt. She returned to America, and, becoming widowed, went to Jamaica as a missionary to the newly emancipated blacks there. But, disillusioned by the exploitation of the Jamaicans by her fellow missionaries and others, she set sail for home. This adventurous woman offers a singular perspective on the African experience in America.”
Publishers Weekly

“Nancy Prince was born in 1799 in Newburyport and privately published her memoir in 1850. After its successful distribution, a second, enlarged edition was published in 1853. Long out of print until re-published by Markus Wiener Publishers with a new introduction by Ronald Walters (professor of Afro-American history at Johns Hopkins University), this new edition of A Black Woman’s Odyssey Through Russia and Jamaica will introduce a new generation of readers to a most remarkable nineteenth-century woman of entrepreneurial spirit and indomitable energy, beginning with her father’s escape from a slave ship anchored off Rhode Island and her childhood in the home he founded near Boston.

“Eventually Nancy married and embarked with her husband on a boat bound for Russia where she became a well-compensated household servant in St. Petersburg. From Russia she traveled to pre-Civil War Jamaica (where slavery had been abolished by the British) to visit a refugee camp for runaway American slaves. Her unique insight into nineteenth-century Russian life and her depiction of an unusual aspect of American slavery make her memoir an important historical document as well as a riveting autobiography. A Black Woman’s Odyssey Through Russia and Jamaica is highly recommended reading for students of Black studies, women’s studies, and nineteenth century Russian history.”
Internet Bookwatch