Born Anna Elizabeth Ulricka Heegaard in St. Croix, Danish West indies in 1790, she was the mistress of Governor Peter Van Scholten, who emancipated the slaves in 1848. Which begs the question of why this woman of ill repute should be featured? The short answer is that she used her wiles and wit for the betterment of both free colored people and enslaved people in the Danish West Indies.
Heegaard herself was a free colored woman. During her 20 year relationship with the Governor, at a time when interracial relationships were taboo and women had little or no rights, Heegaard petitioned for social justice reforms for free colored and enslaved blacks. For the slaves she fought for:
Some say that Heegaard's relationship with Von Scholten prompted him to make the decision to free the slaves. Others say he was forced to do so due to the intensity of the organized slave revolts. Ultimately however, Anna Heegaard, this little known free colored woman did what she could to help her people.
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