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George Roberts

Updated Feb 11, 2024
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George Roberts
A photo of George Roberts, slave to freeman privateer. In the fall of 1812 he served onboard Captain Richard Moon’s privateer 'Sarah Ann' and was among six American seamen accused of being British subjects and taken prisoner when the Sarah Ann was captured by HMS Statira off the Bahamas on September 13, 1812. Captain Moon denied that they were British:

Eventually, Roberts and the other American seamen were released. After the war, it is unknown what trade he had as a freeman or if he continued serving on-board various merchant vessels from the port of Baltimore, Maryland. What is known is that he was allowed to participate as one of the Old Defenders’ of Baltimore of 1814 during parades commemorating the anniversary for many years.

He lived to the age of 95 (1766 -- 1861)
Date & Place: Not specified or unknown.
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This photo says it all: Born in the 1760s, he lived into the 1860's. Born a slave, he became a freeman who fought in the war of 1812. A hardworking man with grit and determination (and dignity), what he must have seen and lived through!
Photo of Norma Ferguson Norma Ferguson
via Facebook
02/06/2019
👏👏 Bless him for helping make America great❤️
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George Roberts
George Roberts was born into slavery and died as a free man, having been a privateer. In the fall of 1812, he served onboard Captain Richard Moon’s privateer boat 'Sarah Ann' . He was among six American seamen accused of being British subjects and was taken prisoner when the Sarah Ann was captured by the HMS Statira off the Bahamas on September 13, 1812. Captain Moon denied that the men were British. Eventually, Roberts and the other American seamen were released. He was allowed to participate as one of the Old Defenders of Baltimore of 1814 during parades commemorating the anniversary for many years. George Roberts married Elizabeth (surname unknown). He was a sawyer (carpenter or timber mill worker) after the war. Later, he was recorded as living with a 50 year old Black woman named Dianna. He isn't recorded as having children. George lived to the age of 95 (1766 -- 1861). His estate at the time was valued at $100 and his real estate holdings in Canton, a part of Baltimore, were valued at $400. His obituary in the Baltimore Sun, published on January 16, 1861, said "Thus has passed away a man whose patriotism, good sense and high moral character have won for him many friends for whom the news of his death will cause heartfelt sorrow. He was among those who took up arms in defense of the city in 1814, and throughout his long life was always highly thought of by the citizen soldiery. Though laboring under the weight of so many years, his carriage was erect, he never appeared on parade except in uniform and it was one of his highest aspirations to still be considered one of the defenders of his native city should the necessity have arrived to take up arms in its defense." See Find A Grave Memorial.
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