Stono Rebellion (1739)

On Sunday, September 9th, 1739 the British colony of South Carolina was shaken by a slave uprising that culminated with the death of sixty people. Led by an Angolan named Jemmy, a band of twenty slaves organized a rebellion on the banks of the Stono River. After breaking into Hutchinson’s store the band, … Read MoreStono Rebellion (1739)

Millie Ringold (1845-1906)

Millie Ringold was a gold prospector, boarding house proprietor, and long-time resident of the Yogo mining district in the Little Belt Mountains of central Montana. According to the 1900 census, Millie Ringold—whose names are variously spelled Molly, Ringo, and Ringgold—was born a slave in 1845 in Virginia. By the 1870s she … Read MoreMillie Ringold (1845-1906)

George Washington Carver (1864?-1943)

George Washington Carver began life inauspiciously on the frontier of southwestern Missouri. Born a slave, the precise date, indeed, even the year, is unknown. He never knew either of his biological parents, but was raised by his former owners as if he were their own. … Read MoreGeorge Washington Carver (1864?-1943)

Toussaint L’Ouverture (1742-1803)

Known to his contemporaries as “The Black Napoleon,” Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history that created an independent state, the Haitian Revolution. Born into slavery on May 20, 1743 in the French colony of Saint … Read MoreToussaint L’Ouverture (1742-1803)

California The History of Allensworth (1908- )

In the article below retired California State University, Fresno historian Robert Mikell explores the history of the only all-black town created in the Golden State.  He traces that history including the role of its principal founder, Colonel Allen Allensworth, from 1908. Centennial Celebration at Allensworth … Read MoreCalifornia The History of Allensworth (1908- )

James Williams (1825- ?)

Cover: Fugitive Slave in Gold Rush California Image Ownership: Public domain James Williams, a fugitive from slavery and the author of the only known full-length slave narrative published independently (in California), was born John Thomas in Elkton, Maryland, April 1, 1825. At age thirteen, he … Read MoreJames Williams (1825- ?)

Freedmen’s Town Houston, Texas (1865- )

Freedmen’s Town is a nationally registered historical site. The site was originally a community located in the fourth ward of Houston, Texas that began in 1865 as the destination for former enslaved people from surrounding plantations in Texas and Louisiana after the Civil War. Freedmen’s … Read MoreFreedmen’s Town Houston, Texas (1865- )

Hercules Washington (Enslaved Cook of George Washington) (1755?- ?)

Hercules Washington by Gilbert Sullivan Image Ownership: Public domain Hercules Washington was the enslaved head cook at George Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation home where he prepared meals for decades for the Washington family and the guests who visit the mansion. Hercules was most likely born … Read MoreHercules Washington (Enslaved Cook of George Washington) (1755?- ?)

Samuel “Sambo” Anderson (? -1845)

Enslaved Workers With George Washington at his Plantation, Mount Vernon Image Ownership: Public domain Samuel “Sambo” Anderson was one of the enslaved people on George Washington’s Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon. The early history of Anderson is unclear but what is known is Anderson was from … Read MoreSamuel “Sambo” Anderson (? -1845)