Thursday, August 9, 2012

Friends of Friends Friday - A Slave Is Sent Back to Africa

In 1730, a slave was brought from Gambia in Africa to Maryland and given the name Job. Finding difficulty in performing the physical labor assigned to him by his master, he ran away, was captured, and put in jail. While in jail he was visited by Thomas Bluett, my 7th great grandfather, in 1731. Bluett, a Maryland resident, is shown in some old Maryland records as an attorney, some as a judge, some as a minister. Page 851 of Classified Digest of the Records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1701 - 1892, lists him as one of the Society’s missionaries.
 Bluett became impressed with Job, and through another slave acting as interpreter, wrote Job’s biography, “Some Memoirs of the Life of Job, the Son of Solomon, the High Priest of Boonda in Africa; Who was a Slave About Two Years in Maryland; and Afterwards Being Brought to England, was Set Free, and Sent to His Native Land in the Year 1734,” which gained considerable note at the time and still gets considerable mention today.

Bluett had Job write a letter to his father in Africa. The letter had to go through England and somehow ended up in the hands of James Oglethorpe, who at the time was Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company. Oglethorpe had the letter translated by Oxford University. Touched by Job's story, Oglethorpe not only ransomed Job, he invited him to England. Accompanied by Bluett, Job arrived in England in the spring of 1733 while Oglethorpe was off founding the colony of Georgia. After a year of being treated royally, Job got to meet the General when Oglethorpe returned to England for a brief visit in June 1734. A month later, Job was on his way back to Gambia, a journey made possible by two compassionate men: Thomas Bluett and James Oglethorpe. One of the sources for the above was taken from "Life of General Oglethorpe," published in 1890 by Henry Bruce.

4 comments:

  1. Kathryn, what a wonderful, wonderful story! Thanks for sharing that. It's so much more special to have learned it--not from a history textbook, but from someone related to that very person who made a difference in Job's life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm delighted that you enjoyed the story, thank you.

      Delete
  2. Thomas Bluett, certainly a Friend of friends

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...