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Abd Rahman Ibrahima was a West African prince who was sold into salvery at the age of 26 and released, nearly 40 years later, through the intercession of U.S. President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay.

He was born in Timbo, West Africa, (in present day Guinea, Fouta Djallon). He was known as the "Prince of Slaves" or "Prince." He was a Fulbe or Fulani, (Fula) from the land of Futa Jallon. Abrahim left Futa in 1774 to study in Mali at Timbuktu. Abrahim was captured by warring tribes and sold to slave traders in 1788 at the age of 26.

He was bought by a Natchez cotton and tobacco farmer, where he eventually became the overseer of the plantation of Thomas Foster. In 1794 he married Isabella, another slave of Foster’s, and eventually fathered a large family -- 5 sons and 4 daughters.

By using his his knowledge of growing cotton in Futa Jallon, Abdul-Rahman rose to a position of authority on the plantation and became the defacto foreman.

This granted him the opportunity to grow his own vegetable garden and sell at the local market. During this time, he meet an old acquaintance, Dr. John Cox. Dr. Cox was an Irish surgeon who served on an English ship. He was the first white man to reach Timbo after being stranded by his ship and fell ill.

Cox stayed ashore for six months and was taken in by Abdul-Rahman's family. Cox appealed to Foster to sell him "Prince" so he could return to Africa, but Foster would not budge since Abdul-Rahman had made himself indispensable to the Foster farm. Dr. Cox continued to seek Abdul-Rahman's freedom until his death in 1816 to no avail. After his dealth Cox's son took up the cause.

In 1826 Abdul-Rahman wrote a letter to his relatives in Africa. A local newspaperman, Andrew Marschalk, who was originally from New York, sent a copy to Senator Thomas Reed in Washington, who forwarded it to the U.S. Consulate in Morocco. Being that Abdul-Rahman wrote in Arabic, Marschalk and the U.S. government assumed that he was a Moor. After the Sultan of Morocco read the letter, he asked President Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay to release Abrahim Abdul Rahman.

In 1828, Thomas Foster committed to the release of Abdul-Rahman, without payment, with the stipulation that Abdul-Rahman had to return to Africa and could not enjoy the rights of being a free man in America. Within two days, Abdul-Rahman raised $200 to buy his wife's freedom and assumed he could do the same for his children.

Before he returned home, he and his wife went to various states and Washington, D.C. He solicited donations, through the press, personal appearances, the American Colonization Society and politicians, to free his family back in Mississppi.

Word got back to Foster, who considered this a breach of the agreement when he freed Abdul-Rahman. Abdul-Rahman's actions and freedom were also used against President John Quincy Adams by future president Andrew Jackson during the presidential election.

After ten months, Abdul-Rahman and Isabella had only raised half the funds to free their children. They made arrangements to leave America. On March 18, 1829, Abdul-Rahman returned to Africa to die. He went to Monrovia, Liberia with his wife.

Abdul-Rahman lived for four months before he contracted a fever and died at the age of 67. He never saw Futa Jallon or his children again.

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