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date: 09 April 2020

Pearse, Abraham locked

(?–1673),
  • Charles Rosenberg

Extract

also spelled Pearce or Pierce, was an early settler in Plimoth Plantations (Plymouth Colony) in what is now the state of Massachusetts, who, according to a good deal of research from contemporary documents, was probably African or of African descent. Some commentators vigorously insist that this is unlikely.

Whatever his national origin, complexion, or standing in the Plymouth community, most sources agree that an Abraham Pearse settled in the colony of New Plymouth around 1623, most likely arriving on the Anne, from England, as one of two servants of another “Mr. Perce,” both of whom were granted land that year. Plymouth scholar Robert Marten concluded that Pearse had most likely gone to England after working as an indentured servant in the British colony of Barbados at that time devoted to growing tobacco with indentured labor although most plantations later converted to sugar production using slave labor sold ...

A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.

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