When you were taught about slavery in American, did you ever learn that African-Americans once lived among kings and queens?
Prince Olaudah Equiano was not the only African from a royal family who was snatched from a privileged lifestyle.
Sarah Forbes Bonetta experienced the same dilemma. She was an African princess from the Egbado village of Okeadan.
When she was less than nine years old, the Dahomian raiders attacked her village and murdered her parents and many others.
Captain Frederick E. Forbes, who often traveled to African to convince the natives not to participate in slavery, rescued Sarah from King Ghezo of Dahomey.
The wicked Ghezo was known for viciously slaughtering his enemies. He knew Sarah was from a royal family because of the tribal tattoos on her face. This is why he had been so anxious to honor his ancestors with her blood.
Fortunately, Captain Forbes persuaded the King not to kill Sarah. Ghezo decided instead to offer the child to Queen Victoria. According to Ghezo, “She would be a present from the King of the black to the Queen of the Whites.”
Forbes was the one who named the girl Sarah Forbes Bonetta. “Sarah Forbes Bonetta was named after a ship and its commander.”Then he brought her to England, and her life was transformed forever.
“Victoria was impressed by the girl’s exceptional intelligence,” and raised Sarah “as her goddaughter in the British middle class.”
Obviously Queen Victoria was moved by the child’s story and so she paid for Sarah’s education and lifestyle.
Sarah also spent much time with the Queen’s children.
In 1862, Sarah and James Davies got married. Sarah initially did not want to marry James because she was not in love with him. Nevertheless, the two were joint together and later had three children, Victoria, Arthur, and Stella.
Sarah eventually “died at the age of 37 in 1880 of tuberculosis.”
Facts about Queen Victoria:
“Warmhearted and lively, Victoria had a gift for drawing and painting; educated by a governess at home, she was a natural diarist and kept a regular journal throughout her life. On William IV’s death in 1837, she became Queen at the age of 18.”
“In the early part of her reign, she was influenced by two men: her first Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, and her husband, Prince Albert, whom she married in 1840. Both men taught her much about how to be a ruler in a ‘constitutional monarchy’ where the monarch had very few powers but could use much influence.”