Liverpool Echo

July12th 1892



From Monrovia on the West coast of Africa, a little woman, 76 yrs of age and formerly a slave, arrived in Liverpool yesterday by the British and African steamer CALABAR, her chief purpose in visiting England to see Queen Victoria.

The little body in her quaint attire went to the offices of the Elder Dempster and Co, the agents of the company, and related a very interesting story of her career. Her name is Martha Anna RIX and she is a widow. She was born in slavery in the United States, and when a few years old was bought by her father and taken by him to Liberia. There she has resided ever since.

For over 50yrs Mrs RIX has cherished the hope of setting foot on British soil, and she did so yesterday. The good, old lady has been saving for 50 yrs and immediately she had accumulated sufficient to pay for her ticket and a little bit to pay her way she started on her long journey.

Mr Alfred L. JONES head of the firm of Elder Dempster and Co, interested himself in her mission and is now endeavouring to obtain for her an interview with Her Majesty. Mrs RIX has made for presentation a quilt of white satin, embroidered with coffee trees, bearing berries, first green, then ripening, and at last in full fruit. She speaks good English and was quite delighted at having arrived in England.

In adverting to the days of slavery, the little body said, “Our only friend was England and our mother the Queen, once we put our foot down in England” and here she suited the action to the word by putting down her foot. “We were free. We all loved England much and wanted to see her noble people and her Queen. We called her our mother, and call her mother now. I want to go to London and see the Queen, I know I cannot speak to her, but, I hope to see her passing along, and then I will return to my farm in Liberia, and die contented. The Lord told me I should see the Queen, and I know I will.”

The old lady, notwithstanding her great age is wonderfully active, and she converses in a remarkably cheerful manner. Mrs RIX was one of thirteen children, but all her brothers and sisters were sold into slavery, and she never afterwards saw them.


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