Saturday, May 14, 2011

Who Is The Black Man In The Boat?

Born about 1750 in Amabou, Africa to wealthy parents, Prince Whipple was sent to America with his brother Coffe (or cousin) to get a good education. Unfortunately, the sea captain was a scoundrel and sold the two boys in the slave market at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They were bought by two brothers, Prince (the older of the two slaves) went with General William Whipple. Prince grew into a trusted and articulate servant for Gen. Whipple. When the Revolutionary War broke out, he followed his master into battle - fighting for liberty which he did not have. It is believed by many that Prince was in the boat with General George Washington when he made his daring crossing of the Delaware River to surprise the British army.

In 1851, Emanuel Leutze painted the famous painting of that fateful crossing and just behind George Washington - can be seen the face of a black man. Prince Whipple, faithful servant, was finally given his freedom and went on to live out his days as a valuable member of society. He was not buried in the segregated black burying ground but in the North Cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. His grandson gave him a gravestone befitting this Revolutionary War hero.

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