Surprising 7: Extraordinary women in history

From slave to lady

Flóra Sass (1841 – 1916), a Hungarian explorer of Transylvanian descent with a reputation for her beauty, was dealt a rather difficult childhood. Her parents were killed in front of her in the fall of 1848 by Romanian forces invading the town of Nagyenyed. After this she lived as a slave for ten years before being sold off to Englishman Samuel W. Baker in Vidin. They got married a few years later, and Baker made it his mission to find the source of the Nile. Despite his pleas, Sass accompanied her husband on the trip.
Traveling upstream the Nile, they made two major discoveries in 1864: Murchison Falls and Lake Albert, the river’s second source, which the couple named after the late husband of the Queen of England. Two years later, Sass’ husband was knighted, while she was not allowed to set foot in the last room of Buckingham Palace due to her past as a slave (other sources point to their ‘concubinage’ as the reason).

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Samuel Baker (1821-1893) English explorer and his second wife Florence Baker (1845-1916 - born Barbara Maria Szasz in Transylvania) whom he bought at a white slave auction at Vidin. Florence accompanied him on his arduous expeditions in Africa. From Hero


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