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Caryn E. Neumann

John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore, who was renowned for offering freedom to slaves willing to serve in the British forces during the American Revolution, was born in Perthshire, Scotland. After a brief military career during the Seven Years' War, he entered politics. In 1770 he was appointed governor of the colony of New York. Despite achieving some successes there, Dunmore moved to Virginia in 1771 to pursue greater economic opportunities.

Dunmore's charm and skill at claiming western lands for Virginians made him personally popular with the colonists and blinded him to rising political tensions. He firmly believed that most Virginians were loyal to the Crown and that troublemakers could be easily contained. In April 1775 Dunmore seized powder from the public magazine at Williamsburg Virginia and threatened to raise a slave army against anyone who challenged his right to do so At that point he began to ...


Eric R. Jackson

politician, editor, and entrepreneur, was born Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback in Macon, Georgia, the son of William Pinchback, a Mississippi plantation owner, and Eliza Stewart, a former slave of mixed ancestry. Because William Pinchback had taken Eliza to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to obtain her emancipation, Pinckney was free upon birth.

In 1847 young Pinckney and his older brother Napoleon Pinchback were sent to Cincinnati to be educated. When his father died the following year, Eliza and the rest of the children fled Georgia to escape the possibility of reenslavement and joined Pinckney and Napoleon in Cincinnati. Because the family was denied any share of William Pinchback's estate, they soon found themselves in financial straits. To help support his family, Pinckney worked as a cabin boy on canal boats in Ohio and later as a steward on several Mississippi riverboats. In 1860 he married Nina Emily Hawthorne ...