Fenda Lawrence, the African Slave Trader Who Relocated to the US in the 18th Century

Fenda Lawrence was an African slave trader who operated in the Saloum town of Kaur in present-day Senegal.

Fenda Lawrence

Fenda Lawrence was born in 1742 and lived and plied her trade in the Saloum town of Kaur in Sene-gambia present-day Senegal, there she also met and married an Englishman.

Not long after her marriage to the Englishman, Fenda got a gig as an intermediary for the British and French traders and the local African slave traders and merchants.

Lawrence also trafficked slaves between America and her homeland of Senegambia until May 1772, when she took five of her personal slaves and set sail for the US on the ship New Britannia. By this point, she had already separated from her English partner.

The ship first arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, after 36 days of sailing. Lawrence was then accompanied by the Captain of the vessel to Georgia where she was issued a document from the state proclaiming that she was a free black woman.

The document read “Fenda Lawrence is a free black woman and heretofore a considerable trader in the River Gambia on the coast of Africa, hath voluntarily came to be and remain for some time in this province

Fenda Lawrence would later settle permanently in Georgia and establish herself in Savannah as a merchant. She also ended up having kids for Stephen Deane, the captain of the vessel that brought her to the US.

Not much is known about her after 1780, but it’s believed she died in the US a very rich woman.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


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