(The Legend of) Sarah (Sally) Bassett
N 32° 17.571 W 064° 46.907
A statue Sarah (Sally) Bassett, the first slave to be memoralized in Bermuda, is located on the grounds of the Cabinet Building near Parliament Street in Hamilton, Bermuda.
An 7' tall statue depicts the execution of Sally Bassett. Her death as made her into a folk hero in Bermuda. A barefoot Sarah Bassett is wearing a loose blouse and paints as she is tied to a stake with her hands behind her back. A pile of kindling lies at her feet and she is looking up towards the sky.
The statue stands in the center of a 7' diameter two-step concrete base. The statue was created by Bermuda sculptor Carlos Dowling and, after considerable controversy, was finally dedicated on the west grounds of the Cabinet Building in Hamilton, Bermuda, on February 9, 2009.
SARAH (SALLY) BASSETT
SARAH (SALLY) BASSETT WAS AN ENSLAVED WOMAN
OWNED BY THE ESTATE OF FRANCIS DICKINSON OF SOUTHAMPTON
ON JUNE 1, 1730, SHE WAS TRIED ON THE "SUSPICION OF
POISONING SEVERAL PERSONS" INCLUDING THE MARINER
THOMAS FORESTER (WHO OWNED SALLY'S GRANDDAUGHTER BECK).
HIS WIFE SARAH FOR, AND NANCEY, A HOUSEHOLD BONDSWOMAN.
SALLY WAS CHARGED WITH SUPPLYING BECK WITH THE
POISON THAT NANCEY DISCOVERED IN THE WALL OF THE
KITCHEN OUTLET. ALTHOUGH SALLY MAINTAINED HER
INNOCENCE, STATING THAT SHE "NEVER DESERVED" THE
SENTENCE GIVEN, SHE WAS BURNED AT THE STAKE FOR THE OFFENCE.
LOCAL LORE HOLDS THAT IT WAS EXTREMELY HOT WHEN
SALLY WAS EXECUTED; AND EVEN NOW, BERMUDIANS MAY
REFER TO A SCORCHINGLY HOT DAY AS "A REAL SALLY BASSETT DAY".
AT THE TIME OF HER SENTENCING, SALLY WAS VALUED AT
ONE POUND, FOUR SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE. ANOTHER LOCAL
LEGEND SAYS THAT BERMUDA'S NATIONAL FLOWER, THE
BERMUDIANA, GREW FROM SALLY'S ASHES.
THE AFRICAN DIASPORA HERITAGE TRAIL - BERMUDA
officially Designated a UNESCO Slave Route Project
9 FEBRUARY 2009
BY THE HONOURABLE PREMIER
DR. THE HON. EWART F. BROWN, JP, MP