Plate II, page 568. Supplement of Volume IV of L'Histoire Naturelle" (servant de suite a l'histoire naturelle de l'homme). Published by M. le Comte de Buffon 1777 at 'L'imprimerie Royale, Paris. Buffon calls her the "black and white child". His account and plate based on a painting alone - which came to France in 1746, captured from a British ship sailing from New England to London. The Burgomeister of Dunkirk sent it to Buffon in 1772. The original picture's inscription read "Mary Sabina, who was born October 12th 1736 at Matuna, a plantation belonging to the Jesuits in the City of Cartegena, in America, of two negro slaves named Martiniano and Patrona". The Burgomeister believed her the child of a European and slave, Buffon thought her the child of albino and melanin-normal slaves (picture search albino Buffon). It seems more likely she suffered from vitiligo - local loss of melanin."
May 11th, 2013
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