The Story of Black Loyalist Harry Washington

0 Posted by - April 23, 2019 - Black History, BLACK MEN, BLACKS IN THE MILITARY

The early attempts at settling Sierra Leone has spawned many significant Black figures in history. Harry Washington hailed from West Africa and was sold to George Washington in 1763. He was purchased to assist in draining Virginia and North Carolina’s Great Dismal Swamp. He would also work as a stable hand.

BLACK LOYALIST

In 1771 Harry Washington fled from Mount Vernon and lived in New York. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, he returned to Virginia to serve under Royal Governor John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore in 1776. His Ethiopian Regiment was made up of freed slaves and Harry Washington excelled in the unit. Later that year, he returned to New York and was made corporal of the Black Pioneers.

LIFE AFTER THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

When the war ended, he and roughly 3,000 Black Loyalist were moved to Nova Scotia by the Crown. He was listed as being 43-years old in documents and listed as “Henry Washington.” He lived in Birchtown until 1792 when he moved to Sierra Leone with his wife Jenny Washington with over 1,100 other Black Nova Scotians.

Life was run of the mill in Freetown. He farmed the land and assisted in building structures in the colony. Eventually, a very familiar ill would hit Freetown in taxes. The Sierra Leone Company was the regulating body in the colony which represented England. Since the Crown covered the travel, resources, and so on for colonization, it felt it was time for Freetown to start paying up.

THE FREETOWN REBELLION

The result was hundreds of Black settlers rising up in 1800. Laws and a native governing body were established and the Sierra Leone Company sent Jamaican troops to deal with the settlers. The rebellion was quashed quickly and several settlers were banished. Harry Washington found himself in Bullom Shore, Sierra Leone where another settlement was formed.

This is where Washington’s story ends and becomes a mystery. Since he was banished it’s not exactly known when he died since the Crown wasn’t documenting his existence. His death is assumed to have been in 1800 with no assumed age since the one given in the Book of Negroes in 1776 was one he simply provided and would’ve put him at the same age as George Washington at the time.

 

SOURCE
http://www.blackloyalist.info/person/display/1485
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/george-washingtons-runaway-slave-harry/

11 Comments

  • Carolyn June 12, 2017 - 11:22 am Reply

    We’re my library at home safe and complete I would do more research. Thank you for this!
    .

  • Floyd June 12, 2017 - 1:03 pm Reply

    This man was purchased to help drain the Virginia and North Carolina Dismal Swamp. This tells me that he was
    an expert in hydraulic, fluid control as well as flood control. There were many Africans who were forced to this country for their expertise in the arts, engineering, farming, husbandry, building craftsmen and many more skills too numerous to mention presently. This is proof that the Black man in American made this continent what it is today due to their skills, and hard work. This country would be a 3rd world country was it not for their presence.
    Its time for the truth to be told so this country can be heal. No more lies and portraying Blacks to be un-educational and lack skills.

  • SB June 12, 2017 - 8:22 pm Reply

    Not surprising, this story about Harry Washington. However, this country will not “heal”, even if the truth about the contribution of all Africans-in-Americans were made known. However, like Jewish Americans and every other ethnic group does, if we acquire a “never again” attitude toward oppression…I mean, really act upon it in a critical mass, organized way (as few as about 2% of very dedicated Black folks), then the country will be forced to treat us with respect. This is because ignorance of our contribution to America (and the world) is not the problem…anti-African/anti-Black racism is the problem. By their very nature, anti-Black/anti-African supremacists don’t care what we’ve gifted and continue to gift to America…as far as these Richard Spencer-esq folks are concerned, non-Whites…especially Africans…are placed on this earth to serve them. Those unwilling to serve Whites are fit to be killed, at worst, and banished to an area with no resources to support ourselves (they claim our resources too), so we can die a slow death, at best! Only an extremely small minority of non-African people are dumb enough to buy into the stereotypes about African/Black people being parasitic or a burden on society. However, they continue to perpetuate these false narratives, because they know too many of us, descended from enslaved Africans who now have an enslaved mind… spend too much time trying to “prove” to White folks that we have value.

    If we Africans in America are to be saved, then we must do it ourselves. I say that Black folks become “One of The Million” as in THE One Million Conscious & Conscientious White Contributors & Voters.

    http://www.iamoneofthemillion.com

    Respect,

    SB

    • Brenda Swint Turner June 16, 2017 - 6:30 am Reply

      You are right. There is strength in numbers. We should stop being afraid and make a grand effort to come together as one. Peace

  • Bill Pincheon May 17, 2019 - 2:35 pm Reply

    Floyd, do you mean “black” in that last sentence?

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