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The Narrative of Louis Asa-Asa


Published in the appendix of The Narrative of Mary Prince, the narrative of Louis Asa-Asa is first introduced by the publisher, Thomas Pringle.  He notes the similarities between the narratives of Asa-Asa and Prince respectively and attempts to establish credibility on Asa-Asa’s behalf. 

The narrative begins with Louis Asa-Asa recalling the memory of his childhood.  Asa-Asa is one of six brothers and sisters, and he speaks of his parents, but only mentions the name of his father, Clashoquin.   He compares his father to his uncle, Otou, who he describes as a “great man” whereas his father is “respectable, but not one of the great men.” Asa-Asa’s family lives in an area named Bycla, which is located near a large town, Egie. His father works on his own land and occasionally makes charcoal.  Although their life is simple, Asa-Asa says that everyone in the family is “very happy.”  At about the age of thirteen Asa-Asa was separated from his family and captured by a group of people known as the Adinyés, who had been terrorizing, pillaging, and enslaving the people of Bycla for a month. The Adinyés sell Asa-Asa into the slave trade, and he is exchanged between slave owners six times.  After being enslaved for six months, Asa-Asa encounters the first white people he has ever seen when he is sold to the men on a French slave ship, the Pearl.  At first Asa-Asa is one of nearly eighty slaves on the ship.  He recalls moments of great violence done upon him and other slaves, but also mentions that they were well fed.  Eventually, nearly all the slaves onboard are sold to another slave ship except for Asa-Asa and four others.  Afterwards, the Pearl is forced to moor in England, and the English government frees Asa-Asa and the other surviving slaves onboard.  Asa-Asa chooses to stay in London because he fears being re-enslaved if he attempts to return home, and the narrative concludes with a quoted statement from Asa-Asa in which he details his love for God and his love for England while making a plea to the King of England to hear his life’s story.

Mary Prince and Louis Asa-Asa
Louis Asa-Asa
The Narrative of Louis Asa-Asa