History Women September 09, 2019 at 02:00 pm

5 little-known black female slave traders who changed the course of history

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

Theodora Aidoo September 09, 2019 at 02:00 pm

September 09, 2019 at 02:00 pm | History, Women

Negresse of quality from the Island of Saint Louis in Senegal, accompanied by her slave, Illustration from Costumes civils de tous les peuples connus, Paris, 1788, by Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur
Pic Credit: Wikipedia

Elizabeth Frazer Skelton

She was the daughter of the Afro-American John Frazers, who had been banished from Liberia as a slave owner.

She married William Skelton and founded the famous trading house of Skelton. She and her husband founded a new fort which they named ‘Victoria’ in 1825.

After the demise of her husband, Mammy Skelton, as she was called, dominated the upper river Nunez as a powerful force even as a widow.

At that time, the slave trade was banned by the British and United States but continued in practice. She had a powerful position as a dominant figure in the regional business community and was for a time responsible for half of the export of the region. In about 1840, under the pressure of the British West Africa Squadron and the Blockade of Africa, the slave traders of the region gradually shifted to growing peanuts with slave labour, an industry in which she also became one of the leading figures, according to Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong’s Dictionary of African Biography.


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