Betsy Heard (1759 – 1812)
She was a Euro‐African slave trader and merchant whose father was an entrepreneur who had travelled from Liverpool, England, to the Los Islands, off the coast of what is now Guinea, in the mid-1700s. Her mother was African.
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Heard’s father sent her to England to study and she later returned to West Africa and set up a trading post on the Bereira River. She inherited her father’s slave-trading factory and connections, and by 1794, established a monopoly on the slave trade in the area. She owned the main wharf in Bereira, several trading ships, and a warehouse until her retirement.