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Equiano, Olaudah  

Brycchan Carey

slave, writer, and abolitionist, was, according to his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, born in the village of Essaka in Eboe, an unknown location in the Ibo-speaking region of modern Nigeria. Equiano recorded that he was the son of a chief and was also destined for that position. However, at about the age of ten, he was abducted and sold to European slave traders. In his narrative, Equiano recalls the Middle Passage in which “the shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable” (58). Despite falling ill, Equiano survived the voyage and was taken first to Barbados and then to Virginia, where in 1754 he was bought by Michael Pascal a captain in the Royal Navy Pascal s first act was to rename the ...


Fraunces, Samuel  

John Howard Smith

tavern owner and innkeeper in New York City and Philadelphia, was probably born in the French West Indies. There seems to be some controversy regarding his race, as his nickname, “Black Sam,” would indicate an African American identity, while some primary sources imply that he was either white or a Mulatto. Historians are generally agreed, however, that Fraunces was African American. Much of what is known about him comes from his 1785 petition for compensation from Congress for services rendered during the American War of Independence, letters from George Washington, and an obituary in the 13 October 1795 issue of the Gazette of the United States. He owned an inn in New York City in 1755 and the following year obtained a license to operate an ordinary which was a tavern serving meals as well as the usual ales and spirits At this time he was married ...



Jonathan P. Roth

Carthaginian military leader and politician, was born in Carthage, in what in now Tunisia, the son of Hamilcar Barca, an important Carthaginian general. Although we know a great deal about his military career, few details of his personal life survive. Several stories about Hannibal’s youth are related in ancient sources, but these must be taken with a grain of salt. One, related by the historian Livy, has a young Hannibal asking his father to take him on campaign to Spain. Hamilcar agrees but insists that his son swear eternal hostility for Rome. In any case, it is true that Hamilcar took his nine- or ten-year-old son to Spain. After Hamilcar’s death in 229 or 228, the eighteen-year-old Hannibal served as an officer in the army commanded by his brother-in-law Hasdrubal.

Around 226 Hannibal married Imilce the daughter of the king of Castulo a town in south central Spain According to ...


Marion, Oscar  

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 ...


Poor, Salem  

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 ...