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Henson, Josiah  

Elizabeth Zoe Vicary

escaped slave and preacher, was born in Charles County, Maryland, on a farm owned by Francis Newman. As a child Henson frequently saw his parents abused and severely beaten. On one occasion, as a punishment for defending his wife, Henson's father was sentenced to a physical mutilation that left him permanently scarred. Although he was raised without religion, Henson was immediately converted to Christianity after his first exposure to it at a revivalist camp meeting. As a young boy, he was sold to Isaac Riley.

Because of his unusual strength and intelligence Henson was made superintendent of the farm at a young age He managed the plantation well doubling the annual crop production One day during an argument at a neighboring farm Henson defended his master in an argument with the other plantation s overseer In revenge the overseer and three of his slaves waylaid Henson one ...


Snowden, Samuel  

Patricia J. Thompson

Methodist Episcopal minister and antislavery activist, was born in Maryland apparently as a slave. Little is known of Samuel Snowden's early life though there are a number of references to his having been a former slave. In an address before the fourth New England Anti-Slavery Convention held in Boston, Massachusetts in 1837 he talks about his experience as a slave in the cornfields but gives no further information about when and where that was or how and when he came to be a free man.

Snowden first appears in the North in Portland, Maine, in the early 1800s where he was described in land records, first as a laborer and later as a yeoman (a small farmer who tills his own soil). On 3 January 1808 Snowden married Nancy Marsh from Monmouth, Maine, and they had at least one child, a daughter Isabella Though no death record has ...


Stewart, John  

Christopher J. Anderson

licensed minister and Methodist missionary, was born in Powhatan County, Virginia, to parents of African and European ancestry. His mother and father, whose names and occupations are not known, were practicing Baptists of noted reputation. Nor is it known whether Stewart had any siblings. During his childhood Stewart received religious instruction from his parents and attended a winter school for African American boys. He was an excellent singer and worked as a dyer. In adulthood those acquainted with Stewart described his physical appearance as light-skinned, five feet eight inches and one hundred forty pounds (Love, 338).

In 1806 or 1807 at age twenty one Stewart left Virginia for Marietta Ohio During his travels Stewart was robbed of all personal belongings and upon reaching his destination struggled with poverty and with being away from his family Stewart eventually found work as a sugar maker which helped him earn money ...