Oct 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Vermont roadside marker recognizes African American poet

Green River Covered Bridge.
Green River Covered Bridge in Guilford, Vermont. Photo John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Vermont is recognizing its African American history with a new historical marker honoring poet Lucy Terry Prince, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Prince wrote “Bars Fight", which is thought to be the oldest known poem by an African American in the United States.

The big picture: The new marker was unveiled this week at the Interstate 91 welcome center in Guilford, Vermont, where Prince lived with her husband in the late 1700s.

  • The marker states that Prince was stolen from Africa as a child and enslaved in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
  • Prince became free after she married Abijah Prince in 1756, later settling on 100 acres in Guilford in 1769.

Details: "Bars Fight" recounts the 1746 attack on Deerfield settlers, per the AP.

  • The poem “endured in oral tradition for over 100 years before appearing on the front page of the Springfield Daily Republican in 1854,” according to the historical marker.
Go deeper