Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Harry Washington

          On page 90 and 91 in Carleton's Book Of Negroes, a familiar sir name Washington! the 13th name from the bottom. At first glance it's just another name quickly overlooked and brushed aside. Harry Washington upon further review more information comes to light. Mr. Washington was 43 years of age at the time he was entered into the book and listed on the ship L'Abondence headed to Port Roseway (Shelburne) with commanding officer Lt. Phillips. It also tells us that he was formerly the property of General Washington but escaped him 7 years before he was entered into the book. Yes General George Washington! The man who later would become the first president of the United States.

        Harry Washington shows up again documented in the 1784 Birchtown Muster Roll.  The information listed is Washington, Harry 44 years of age; he is a labourer and has a woman listed with him, Jenny Washington. Little more is known about his time in Birchtown but history tells us that he would survive a race riot, harsh winters, unequal treatment and even famine where residents had to sell the clothes off their backs and eat their dogs to survive.

       In 1792, Harry Washington was among the Black Loyalists who decided to take the offer of a better life in Sierra Leone and his name is on the map of allotments. His lot is #74. Washington becomes a successful farmer just outside of Freetown where he lives until the 1799-1800 rebellion. Much like the situation in the thirteen colonies just 24 years before, the new settlers were unhappy with the taxation set on them by the Sierra Leone Company. This caused an uprising and one of the leaders of the rebellion was Mr. Washington. In efforts to stop the rebellion The Sierra Leone Company and British rule brought more then 500 Jamaican Maroons to the colony of Freetown to stop the revolt. Harry Washington and other rebels were tried by a military tribunal and exiled to the Bullom Shore, north of the Sierra Leone River where he would become a leader, a Pioneer and a founding father in his homeland; titles not so much different from his former master.

names of settlers and their lot numbers 1792
map of allotments in Sierra Leone 1792
(lot #74) H. Washington


1 comment:

  1. The map of the allotments is very helpful. Do you have a high definition image? Thanks