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Richard S. Newman

leading citizen of color in nineteenth-century New York City, was born enslaved in 1766 in French colonial Saint Domingue Pierre was owned by Jean Berard a sugar planter who resided outside of Saint Marc in the western section of the prosperous French colony Pierre came of age in a colony dominated by bondage and death with masters importing as many as 30 000 enslaved people each year by the second half of the eighteenth century to replenish depleted plantations However Pierre was utilized predominantly as a household servant A talented and precocious lad he acquired literacy skills as well as a courtly sensibility which he maintained for the rest of his life in and out of slavery Though Berard family lore claims credit for encouraging Pierre s talents it may have been his enslaved grandmother Zenobie a wet nurse and household servant who had accompanied Bernard s eldest son ...


Elizeth Payne Iglesias

of black or mulato (mixed race) origin, was born in León, Nicaragua. He was born and raised at the home of Joaquín Arrechavala Vílchez (1728–1823), the wealthiest Spaniard in the city of León, a colonel in the Spanish militia, and a fervent champion of the monarchy during the Central American period of independence. Information on Agustín Vílchez’s likely parentage comes from Arrechavala himself, who in a letter dated 1806 calls him son on various occasions and refers to him in very affectionate terms His mother s name and ethnic origin remain unknown However Vílchez speaks of the smallness and baseness of my obscure birth suggesting his mother could have been a slave or a servant in the paternal household He signed his name as Agustín de Vílchez This de either brought him closer to his Spanish origins or bore evidence of his closeness to the Hispanic Creole ...