Elisabeth Samson

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Elisabeth Samson (1715—1771), was a Surinamese slave coffee plantation owner.

She was the daughter of the freed slave Nanoe or Mariana and had a sister named Nanette. She lived for many years with Carl Creutz, a major coffee plantation owner, and inherited several coffee plantations from him. In 1767, she married the planter and slave owner Hermanus Daniel Zobre (1737—1784), and became the first black woman in Surinam to marry a white man. She was a major coffee plantation owner and coffee export trader and even owned her own ship. By her success as a major business person and slave owner as a black woman, as well as her marriage to a white partner, she challenged both the gender and racial norms in contemporary Surinam and became a controversial figure in Surinamese history.

Elisabeth Samson is the subject of a history work (Elisabeth Samson) and a novel by Cynthia McLeod: The Free negress Elisabeth.

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