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Glenn Allen Knoblock

a sailor during the War of 1812, fought in the Battle of Lake Erie with Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Little is known about Collins's personal life although it is possible he was born into slavery in Newport, Rhode Island, or the surrounding area. As of the 1790 Census there were still over nine hundred slaves in the state, which pursued a policy of gradual emancipation after 1784. Hannibal may have been a slave for less than a decade of his life, although this is not certain. The 1810 Federal Census does detail two white Collins families in Newport that either owned slaves or had black persons residing in their household; the entry for John Collins details just one person of color in his household, whereas that of Job Collins details seven Although not specifically identified as such these individuals may have been slaves However the same census ...

Article

Charles W. Jr. Carey

war hero and businessman, was born probably in the vicinity of Portsmouth, Virginia, the son of free black parents, whose names are unknown. On the eve of the American Revolution fewer than two thousand free blacks lived in Virginia. The colony's statutes forbade the manumission of slaves except those who exposed an incipient slave uprising. Consequently, William, who was known as “Billy,” was probably descended from Africans who arrived in Virginia before 1640, when blacks were treated like indentured servants rather than slaves.

Nothing is known about Flora's life prior to 1775, when he joined Colonel William Woodford's Second Virginia Regiment as a private He furnished his own musket suggesting that he had already earned the esteem of his white neighbors because the colony s statutes also barred free blacks from bearing arms and from serving in the militia He fought against British and Loyalist forces ...

Article

Glenn Allen Knoblock

a sailor during the War of 1812, was a crewman aboard the brig Niagara during the Battle of Lake Erie. Little is known of Hardy's life prior to the war, except that he was a free man and resident of Philadelphia when he was married to his wife Diane by Reverend John Gloucester of the First African Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia sometime between 1807 and 1813. Hardy, his name also given as “Harely,” was almost certainly working as a sailor prior to the war and probably sailed on vessels operating from the port of Philadelphia. It is unknown when Hardy enlisted in the United States Navy, but it was likely sometime in 1812 to early 1813 with the commencement of the war the merchant shipping trade in the Northeast came to a sudden halt and many sailors black and white were suddenly unemployed Driven by the necessity ...

Article

Glenn Allen Knoblock

was a sailor in the War of 1812 who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. The details of Hazard's life are largely lost, although some speculation as to his identity may be made from surviving records. That Hazard was a slave is almost certain, although whether he was born a slave or forcibly brought to America from Africa is unknown. Hazard's first name of “Newport” is a common one of the day for enslaved men in New England and is a likely indicator that he was sold as a slave at Newport, Rhode Island, a major port in the slave trade, early in his life. Two candidates present themselves as to Newport Hazard's identity: he may be the man, born sometime between 1727 and 1761, listed as a “Negro” in the 1777 Rhode Island Military Census and living in the household of Steven ...

Article

Elizabeth Kuebler-Wolf

slave and Revolutionary War spy, was born James Armistead, a slave belonging to the planter William Armistead of New Kent County, Virginia. Nothing is known of his parents, but it is reasonable to assume that William Armistead also held, at least at some point, James's mother and possibly his father as slaves. James Armistead was a skilled worker whom William Armistead employed in his Richmond offices apparently in a clerical capacity. During the Revolutionary War, William Armistead served as a military supply officer, with James Armistead accompanying him as a body servant. Later William Armistead was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

James Armistead accompanied William Armistead to Richmond in the summer of 1781 while William was fulfilling his duties as the commissary of military supplies to the Continental army. American forces, led by the French Marquis de Lafayette, and British troops led by Lord Cornwallis ...

Article

Tina C. Jones

was a Patriot of the American Revolutionary War. Legend has it that Oscar grew up on the same plantation as his famed master and war hero, Brigadier General Francis Marion, in Berkeley County, South Carolina, and that they played together as childhood friends in the 1730s. Francis Marion's family owned the plantation. Francis fondly referred to Oscar by his nickname, “Buddy.” In time, these childhood playmates would mature and, as adults, find fame as patriotic heroes and fierce guerrilla fighters in the Revolutionary War. Francis Marion grew up to become the wily general known to his enemies as the “Swamp Fox.” Oscar Marion's place fighting alongside Francis has only recently come into full focus, although his role in the war has often been portrayed in art and literature over the past two centuries.

Oscar Marion served in the 2nd Continental Army Regiment of South Carolina His volunteer service of ...

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Karen E. Sutton

Revolutionary War veteran, credited with causing the death of the British lieutenant colonel James Abercrombie at the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775. Folklore has it that a teenage Lydia Abbott and her father purchased an African American male infant at a Salem, Massachusetts, slave auction block. The Abbotts lived in nearby Andover and were traveling by horseback. According to tradition, the baby rode either on the “bow” of the saddle or in the saddlebag of Lydia's horse. However he got to Andover, Lydia's family owned him, and had him baptized in the Congregational Church in 1747. In later years, Lydia Abbott gave Poor to her daughter, Chloe. As a child this African American male slave became known as “Salem Pony.” At approximately twenty-seven years of age, Salem purchased himself for twenty-seven pounds. The date was 10 July 1769 and the other party ...

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Patrick G. Williams

Revolutionary War soldier, was also known as Tack Sisson, Guy Watson, or Prince. His place of birth and the names of his parents are unknown. In fact, little record exists of his whereabouts, activities, or circumstances before or after the exploit for which he is noted—the July 1777 abduction of Brigadier General Richard Prescott, commander of the British garrison at Newport, Rhode Island. Sisson was among the forty volunteers Lieutenant Colonel William Barton raised from his regiment with the intention of seizing a British officer of sufficient rank that he might be exchanged for the captured American general Charles Lee Some accounts suggest that Sisson was Barton s servant Sisson steered one of the whaleboats that made their way with muffled oars from Tiverton Rhode Island toward Prescott s lodgings at the Overing House near Newport Escaping the attention of British ships the force ...

Article

Michael E. Hucles

patriot, was born into slavery, probably at Hampton, Virginia. The identity of his parents is unknown. In his early adulthood, Caesar was sold to Carter Tarrant upon the death of his master Robert Hundley. His purchase price exceeded the normal price for male slaves because Tarrant had a particular skill, that of a river pilot. Just how Tarrant acquired the skill is unclear. Typically, the Tidewater-area river pilot was white and passed the skill on to his son. In any case, Tarrant would eventually use this skill to parlay his freedom.

Sometime prior to the American Revolution, Tarrant married Lucy, the slave of a neighbor, John Rogers. This so-called “broad” marriage of slaves who resided apart from one another produced three children. Throughout his life, Tarrant longed for his family's freedom.

The American Revolution provided Tarrant with the chance to secure his own liberty As a ...

Article

Glenn Allen Knoblock

a sailor during the War of 1812, served under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the Battle of Lake Erie. Little is known about Tiffany before his service under Commodore Perry and nothing afterward. Federal Census records indicate that he was likely the man by the same name residing in Bristol, Massachusetts, in 1790. A free man, Tiffany possibly earned a living as a sailor during peacetime like many other African Americans living in coastal New England. He likely joined the navy out of necessity; the War of 1812 extremely unpopular in New England virtually shut down merchant trade on the high seas leaving thousands of sailors black and white unemployed Perhaps motivated by a combination of patriotism and the need to make a living many of these sailors subsequently enlisted in the navy or served on privately armed merchant ships to join in the fight against Great ...

Article

Glenn Allen Knoblock

a sailor who fought in the War of 1812, was a participant in the decisive Battle of Lake Erie, serving under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Walls, his last name also given as “Wall” in some accounts, was a native of Pennsylvania and probably freeborn, but nothing is known of his early life. He may have been a resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, when the War of 1812 began, and his military service commenced by 1813.

Although Jesse Walls's military service is not recorded in any official records, the documents for this time period, such as ship's crew and prize lists, are far from complete; indeed, it is this lack of documentation that has often served to obscure the role that African Americans played in the War of 1812 a conflict often described as America s second war for independence In fact black soldiers and sailors men like ...

Article

Glenn Allen Knoblock

was a sailor who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. He was a native of Salem, Massachusetts. If born in Massachusetts in the mid 1790s, it is most likely that he was born free. Slavery had been abolished by 1783 in Massachusetts as a result of the Quok Walker case. The 1790 Federal Densus lists no slaves in the state. It is possible that Anthony Williams made a living as a merchant sailor, given his residence in one of New England's most active seaports and his subsequent naval service.

Anthony Williams joined the navy by early 1813 likely in New England his listed rating was that of ship s boy an indicator of both his youth probably a teenager and slight experience During this time the rating of ship s boy was held by white and black youths alike their job being ...