King, Boston (c.1760 – 1802)

King, Boston (c.1760 – 1802)

  • <p>This picture of a poor fugitive is from one of the stereotype cuts manufactured in this city for the southern market, and used on handbills offering rewards for runaway slaves. It is frequently used to represent Boston King. Courtesy of Wikipedia.</p>

Audio clip: The Words of Boston King read by Faith D'Alessandro.

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Boston King was born enslaved on the Richard Waring plantation near Charleston, South Carolina around 1760. When British troops occupied Charleston during the American Revolution, King fled to the British garrison and gained his freedom. He was later re-enslaved by the American Navy but managed to escape as the war drew to a close. During this escape Boston King passed through Staten Island. King was among 5000 loyalists given certificates of freedom by the British as the war closed.

Following the war Boston King travelled to Nova Scotia, followed by Sierra Leone, and England, where he wrote his memoirs, "Memoirs of the Life of Boston King, a Black Preacher, written by Himself."

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