Without doubt the most researched topic with respect to Black history is Slavery or Slave Trade. With each passing day new stories of how Africans were enslaved and thrown on ships to be sold into slavery are discovered. The slave trade period spanned over a period of 400 years.
There are many African cultures and most believe that no matter how far a native strays he or she will surely return, whether in the land of the living or dead. This is a major reason why rites of passage are not treated with levity in African societies. During the slavery era ceremonies were organized to bid farewell to those captured and pray for strength for them to find their way home someday.
Among the many millions captured were descendants from Royal families. In truth a lot of the Western Slave traders gave respect to the Royals and left them untouched. However some royals found themselves being captured and sold into slavery, being at the wrong place at the wrong time. In this article we bring six of such Africans of royal descent who were unfortunate to be sold off by slave traders.
Prince William Ansah Sessarakoo – Ghana
Prince William Sessarakoo was born in Annamaboe, Gold Coast in 1736. Gold Coast is the modern day Ghana, a country in West Africa. He was born to Chief Eno Baise Kurentsi who was a slave trader and seen as an important associate for other traders in the city. As soon as William was old enough his father sent him off to England in a bid to give him quality education and make him aware of the happenings in Europe.
While on the ship William was sold into slavery by the ship captain when they got to Barbados. Years later he was discovered by a free Fente trader and the issue was reported to his father. His father petitioned the British which led to his release by the Royal African Company, the company in charge of slave trade at the time. Prince William was transported to England and then back home.
Princess Anta Madjiguene Ndiaye – Senegal
The beautiful Princess Anta was born in Wolof kingdom in 1793 in the modern day Senegal. She enjoyed a royal life being served by maids and protected by armed guards from Tyeddo raiders from the nearby kingdom.
Unfortunately the princess was captured along with two young maidens suspected to be her attendants in 1806 by raiders. At the time of her capture Anta was only 13 years old. She was moved with other slaves to Goree Island from where she was purchased after being put on display at the slave market.
Princess Anta was sold to a rich plantation owner from Florida by the name Zephanaiah Kingsley. The two later got married changing the status of Princess Anta once again. This time she became a very wealthy plantation owner in Florida. She was relocated by her people in 2018 and consequently her spirit was welcomed home.
Prince Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori – Guniea
Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori was born into the royal family of the Torodbe Fulani Muslim tribe from Guinea in 1762. He also held the title of commander and by age 26 his father crowned him Emir. He gained charge of a 2000-man army but on one of his military escapades he was captured and sold to the British.
Shortly after he was sold by the British to Thomas Foster from Natchez, Mississippi. Foster was Sori’s master for 40 years and in 1826 Sori sent a letter to his people in Africa. His letter was however intercepted by Andrew Marschalk a Dutch Printer. Abderrahmane, the Sultan of Morocco read the letter and sought that President John Adams and his Secretary of State release Sori. Three years later Foster released Sori at no charge on the condition that he left the US immediately.
Sori embarked on his journey to Monrovia but contracted fever and died after staying in Liberia for four months. Prince Sori died at the age of 67.
Princess Aqualtune Ezgondidu Mahamud da Silva Santos – Central Africa
Princess Aqualtune was a native of Kongo born to an unknown King of the Kongo Kingdom. The Kongo Kingdom is located in the modern day Democratic Republic of Congo and the Southern part of Gabon. The Princess led a troupe of ten thousand soldiers against the Kingdom of Portugal in the battle of Mbwila.
She was later captured and sold solely as a source of reproduction for other slaves. After she became pregnant she was sold to a mill in Brazil. She later founded the Quilombo dos Palmares, which is a community in Alagoas, Brazil made up of escaped slaves.
King Takyi – Ghana
King Takyi was one of the Fanti Kings in Gold Coast. There are however no records of which of the Fantis he ruled before being captured but from research it is hypothesized that he probably ruled the Kommenda or Koromantse found in Central Ghana of the modern day.
Prior to being captured, Takyi was a wealthy King and slave trader but after the Kommender wars he was captured. In May 1760, Takyi led his followers into rebelling against their masters at the plantation where they worked. They killed the owners of the plantation and freed all the slaves. In July of the same year Takyi was killed and his head cut off and displayed at the center of the town. This was to indicate the end of rebellion by the slaves.
Prince Ayuba Suleiman Diallo – Senegal
Suleiman Diallo was born in Bundu in 1701. He was also known as Job Ben Solomon even though he was from the lineage of Muslim Fulbe religious leaders. Diallo’s grandfather founded Bundu and Diallo grew to be a seasoned scholar and merchant.
Diallo and his interpreter were captured in 1730 by members of the Mandinka Tribe around the Gambia River. They were bought by the Royal African Company after which Diallo settled in Annapolis. Diallo was sent to England in 1733 where he learned to communicate in English and was able to infiltrate the London elite.
Diallo returned to the Gambia in 1734 though the land had been ravaged by war, his father had died, and his wives had been married off.
There you have six of the royals who were captured and sold into slavery during the 400 year slave trade period.