GUILFORD, Vt. — Vermont has erected a historical marker recognizing Lucy Terry Prince, who wrote what is thought to be the oldest known poem by an African American.

The marker was unveiled this week at the Interstate 91 welcome center in Guilford. Prince and her husband lived in Guilford in the late 1700s.

As a child, Lucy Terry was stolen from Africa and enslaved in Deerfield, Massachusetts, the marker states. Her poem “Bars Fight” tells the story of a 1746 attack on Deerfield settlers.

The poem “endured in oral tradition for over 100 years before appearing on the front page of the Springfield Daily Republican in 1854,” the marker states.

She became free after marrying Abijah Prince in 1756, and the couple settled on 100 acres in Guilford in 1769, according to the marker.


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