Spirit of Freedom (Hamilton, Bermuda)


Dublin Core


Spirit of Freedom (Hamilton, Bermuda)


Subject (Topic)
Hamilton (Bermuda Islands)--History
Slavery--Bermuda Islands
Middle Passage
Transatlantic Slave Trade
Slave Trade

Subject (Name)
Sarah (Sally) Bassett, d. 1730

Subject (Object Type)
Commemorative sculpture


In 1730, the colonial government of Bermuda executed Sarah Bassett, an enslaved woman, for allegedly attempting to poison her granddaughter’s enslavers. In Spirit of Freedom, she is shown with her hand and feet bound, as she gazes defiantly upward.


Dowling, Carlos


Photograph from Monument Lab


Dedicated: February 9, 2009






Visual Arts-Sculpture


The Cabinet Building, 105 Front Street, Hamilton, Bermuda

Alternative Title

Sarah Bassett

Has Part

The lower step of the base of the statue is divided into six segments. The segments are inscribed with events from Sarah Bassett Life:

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.
A pair of bronze plaques on the upper step of the base of the statue inscribed:

The African diaspora heritage trail - Bermuda Officially designated a UNESCO slave route project
Officially opened 9 February 2009 By the honorable premier Dr. The hon. Ewart f. Brown, JP, MP


84 in. (213.36 cm.)



Bibliographic Citation

Gibson, Stephanie. "Revealing Sally: Unveiling Bermuda's Resistance to Confront its Brutal Past." Monument Lab, May 4, 2020. Accessed February 15, 2021: https://monumentlab.com/bulletin/revealing-sally-unveiling-bermudas-resistance-to-confront-its-brutal-past
Campbell, Sandra. "Searing Memories." The Bermudian, April 10, 2019. Accessed May 1, 2021, https://www.thebermudian.com/heritage/heritage-heritage/searing-memories/.

Rights Holder

Renée Ater

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

84 in. (213.36 cm.)


Dowling, Carlos, “Spirit of Freedom (Hamilton, Bermuda),” Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past, accessed July 24, 2024, https://www.slaverymonuments.org/items/show/1215.