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Nancy Gardner Prince

Nancy Gardner Prince (1799 – c. 1856) was an African-American woman born free in Newburyport, Massachusetts, who wrote about her travels in Russia and Jamaica. The date of her death is uncertain. Her published autobiography includes an account of how her marriage led her to the Russian Courts of Alexander I and Nicholas I. "The author vivdly describes local Russian customs, as well as her experiences of the Saint Petersburg flood of 1824 and the Decembrist Revolt."

Little is known about Prince's family life. Her father, a seaman from Nantucket, died when she was an infant, leaving her in the care of her mother, who subsequently married several times, so that Nancy had six younger siblings. They sold berries to support the family and she eventually went on to work as a servant for white families.

In 1824 she married Nero Prince, one of the founders of the Prince Hall Freemasons in Boston. They traveled to Russia, where she opened a boarding home and made clothing for infants, while her husband was a footman to the czar in St. Petersburg. When they returned to Boston, she started her own seamstress business and gave lectures about her travels to Russia and Jamaica. Provided by Wikipedia