A Century in Captivity: The Life and Trials of Prince Mortimer, a Connecticut Slave

A Century in Captivity: The Life and Trials of Prince Mortimer, a Connecticut Slave

by Denis R. Caron
     
 

ISBN-10: 1584655402

ISBN-13: 9781584655404

Pub. Date: 02/28/2006

Publisher: University of New Hampshire Press

On December 21, 1811, a Middletown, Connecticut judge sentenced Prince Mortimer, a sickly eighty-seven-year-old slave, to life imprisonment for attempting to poison his master by lacing his chocolate drink with arsenic. Prince spent the next sixteen years in Connecticut's notorious Newgate Prison, a colonial copper mine that had been converted into America's first

Overview

On December 21, 1811, a Middletown, Connecticut judge sentenced Prince Mortimer, a sickly eighty-seven-year-old slave, to life imprisonment for attempting to poison his master by lacing his chocolate drink with arsenic. Prince spent the next sixteen years in Connecticut's notorious Newgate Prison, a colonial copper mine that had been converted into America's first state prison. In 1827 the dungeons at Newgate were closed forever, and the prisoners were transferred to the newly constructed Wethersfield State Prison. Wethersfield was supposed to be modern and progressive, but prisoners suffered there every bit as much as at Newgate. In 1834, Prince died there in his 31/2-by-7-foot cell, reportedly at the age of 110. From his capture into slavery as a child in Guinea in about 1730, through his more than eighty years as a slave and twenty-three years as a prisoner, Prince had endured more than a century in captivity.

In an astounding feat of historical inquiry and scholarship, author Denis R. Caron has assembled a mass of facts and insights that will mesmerize general interest readers and students of African American, regional, legal, and penal history alike. A Century in Captivity is a marvelous and sobering story previously lost to history, filled with dashed dreams of freedom, unrelenting miseries, and struggles for wealth and power.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781584655404
Publisher:
University of New Hampshire Press
Publication date:
02/28/2006
Series:
Revisiting New England
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
The Trial
The Early Years
The Will to Be Free
The Codicils
Probate
The Appeal
The Conviction Revisited
To Newgate
Early Newgate
Mortimer, Prince
Freedom Delayed
The Counterfeiter
The Bible Peddler
Three and a Half Feet
Moses and Amos
Old Soldiers
Acidum Arseniosum
Postscript
Notes
Bibliographic Note
Index

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