Rare paper trail links slaves in Africa to S.C. resident

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A one-in-fifteen million long shot comes true as a 249-year-old paper trail leads to the discovery of a colonial American slave’s descendants.

An exhibit at the NY Historical Society tells the poignant story of Priscilla, a 10-year old African girl kidnapped into slavery in 1756, whose exile began in Sierra Leone and ended in Charleston, South Carolina. Using a rare and unbroken document trail that began 249 years ago, scholars have traced Priscilla’s origin in Africa, her exile on the middle passage, and her life in bondage in America, allowing an intimate portrait of an enslaved person’s life to emerge from the pages of history. Scholars have used this document trail to identify one of Priscilla’s modern descendants, an African American woman still living in South Carolina today, who recently made an extraordinary “homecoming” journey back to Sierra Leone.

Finding Priscilla's Children: The Roots and Branches of Slavery, Tuesday, November 15, 11 AM –1 PM.

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