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His master, Jonathan Jackson, manumitted Jackson, who enlisted from Newburyport in and remained in the army until , in July Cato Prince, from Marblehead, was a Revolutionary War pensioner. They also stated that he had lived for many years with their father and had enlisted as a freeman in the service of the United States about or Haynes, an indentured servant, finished his term of indenture in and became a free man.

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Ordained in , Lemuel Haynes was the first Blackman to become a Congregational minister. In some instances, the masters of servants who enlisted in the army received payment for the service of those men.


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Elisha Allis of Hatfield petitioned the legislature in January for the wages of two slaves who had enlisted the preceding April. John Sprague was paid 66 in Primus Jackall received pounds 14 shillings as a bounty for enlisting, and Pelatiah McGoldsmith was paid 92 pounds 10 shillings. The Massachusetts Navy appears to have placed fewer restrictions on African Americans who wished to serve as seamen.

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Five African Americans were given permission in January to serve on pounds for the services of his servant, Cuff Sprague, who enlisted for three years in September armed vessels. Captain John Clouston of the Massachusetts Navy brigantine Freedom expressed his appreciation for the naval service of African Americans in a letter dated May 8, Many African Americans, freemen, servants and slaves served with distinction throughout the Revolution.

Some lost their lives. Primus Emanuel of Middleton 43 and Julius Caesar, one of fourteen African Americans to enlist from Lancaster, both died in the cause of freedom. In July , the same slave was sold to Daniel Goodridge, also of Winchendon. Although the court did not render its final decision in Winchendon vs. Hatfield until , 49 it appears that most Massachusetts slaves were freed during or immediately after the Revolution. Massachusetts was the only state that did not enumerate any slaves in the first Federal census taken in By Charles R.

Lampson The word privateer evokes different meanings for different people. Perhaps the…. Join us Contact us Subscribe to our mailing list. Joseph T. William M. Olin, Secretary of the Commonwealth, comp.

Visitors to the island say they sometimes hear phantom piano music, and occasionally catch a glimpse of the lighthouse keeper walking by, still carrying his axe. With thick cypress swamps fringing a black river, the Pocomoke Forest on Maryland's Eastern Shore has birthed several ghostly legends. Folks say that a teenage couple drove into the forest but ran out of gas.

The boyfriend went to get help, and the girlfriend was woken in the middle of the night by scratchy sounds on the car's roof. In the morning she discovered her boyfriend hanging upside-down from a tree and his fingernails trailing on the metal. In another tale, a couple in a car heard a radio report of an escaped murderer with a hook for a right hand. The girl noticed a strange sound outside the car, and when she opened the door, a hook was hanging from the handle. Locals also talk of fireballs erupting from thickets and a six-fingered sea captain who killed his adulterous wife and bastard child in the forest.

The baby's wails still echo through the trees. Minots Ledge, a tiny outcropping of rock rising from the sea a mile off the coast from Cohasset, was a ruthless destroyer of ships and sailors. Between and , the ledge sank 80 ships and drowned men. But no one knew how to build a lighthouse on such a perilous sliver of rock in the middle of the sea. Finally, in , Massachusetts erected a small granite beacon tower on nine cement pylons grounded on the ledge. One year later, a furious nor'easter hit and set the tower swaying.

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During a lull in the storm, the lighthouse keeper rowed to the mainland, leaving his two assistants behind to man the beacon. All night, townspeople on the shore heard the lighthouse bell ring furiously, perhaps as a final goodbye from the assistants. In the morning, the tower was gone, toppled into the sea. The assistants' bodies washed up days later.

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Passing fishermen say they can still hear their ghosts crying for help. Be careful where you roam at night in western Michigan: The Melon Heads might come after you. Said to haunt the woods near Saugatuck, these childlike figures have oversized heads and mostly white eyes, with irises barely visible above the lower eyelid. They might knock on your car window, or they might stalk you as you walk the dog.

Some speculate that the Melon Heads were children in the late 19th century with hydrocephaly who escaped a local hospital where a doctor had been conducting terrible experiments on them. Be especially wary if you're a young couple making out in a parked car; the Melon Heads like to tap on the windows to get your attention. Ghost hunters have come from all over the country to visit the Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre in the hopes of glimpsing a permanent guest: Lucy, a ghost who hasn't forgiven the male gender for her tragic life and even more tragic demise.

As the story goes, Lucy was a prostitute who worked in a brothel erected on the future site of the hotel. It burned down, taking Lucy and other escorts with it. When men pass by, she's said to slam doors and drop the temperature. Guests can ask for Room 17—Lucy's favorite—if they're feeling adventurous.

At the center of the historic section of Glenwood Cemetery, Yazoo City's public burial grounds, there's a grave surrounded by a chain link fence. Local lore claims that the grave belonged to a witch who lived along the Yazoo River, who used to lure fishermen to the shore to torture them. When the Yazoo County sheriff came to arrest her, she fled into the swamp and fell into quicksand. The sheriff found her half sunk. Before she drowned, she swore to take revenge on Yazoo City. No one thought much of her threat, but they fenced in her grave just in case.

Then, on May 25, , a fire nearly wiped out the entire city, spreading quickly on unusually fierce winds. After the fire, Yazoo City residents found the chain link around the witch's grave cut open. An old couple in Overton, who made a trickle of income lodging travelers in their home, decided one night to murder a wealthy boarder and make their fortune. They hid his body, took his money, and used it to build a grand new house. Years later, as the woman lay on her deathbed, she made her husband promise to keep their secret and never to remarry … but he took a new bride within a year.

The people of Overton, disapproving of the widower's impropriety, harassed the couple on their wedding night with catcalls, drums, and rifle shots. But when the man went outside to shush the crowd, he was startled to see a black carriage pull up to the house. Inside sat a woman, pale as death and dressed in black.

Without a word, the man got into the carriage.

It drove off and he was never seen again. Ever since, townspeople have spotted the black carriage and interpreted it as an omen of danger. If the legends are true, you'll want to think twice before agreeing to pick up just any hitchhiker. Locals claim that a man known as the Phantom Hitchhiker of Black Horse Lake—a Native American man wearing a jean jacket—appears on the road, then violently smashes against your windshield as if struck by your car.

It is said that the man was involved in a fatal car crash many years ago and has reenacted it ever since. Blackbird Hill, Nebraska, is best known as the gravesite of the eponymous Omaha Indian Chief named Blackbird, who was famously buried sitting upright on his most prized horse.

But the hill is also home to one of Nebraska's oldest ghost stories. In the late s, a local man discovered that his wife still had feelings for a long-lost lover. Consumed in a fit of jealous rage, he stabbed his wife and then, in a panic, picked up her body, ran to the cliff on Blackbird Hill, and jumped.

It's said that if you listen closely on October 17, you can hear a woman screaming near the top of that hill. Long before the founding of Las Vegas, a pair of lovers named Timber Kate and Bella Rawhide toured the saloons of Nevada performing a live sex show. One day, Bella abandoned the act and left Kate for a man named Tug Daniels, breaking her former partner's heart. Kate eventually ran into Bella and Tug in a Carson City brothel, resulting in a knife fight.

During the melee, Tug murdered Kate, and it's been said that her disheveled ghost still haunts the halls of the bordello. Before the Portsmouth Music Hall was built on Chestnut Street in , the site was home to the Temple, a public meeting house where black abolitionists like Frederick Douglass spoke against slavery; a Baptist meeting hall; an 18th-century prison; and one of the first almshouses in the colonies.

With all that history, its ghosts could be a mixed bag, but they seem to be all about the stage. Audience members have reported seeing a man dressed in clothing so convincingly Victorian, they thought he was an actor—until he faded away. They've heard shuffling feet near the box office and loud footsteps in the empty hallway.

African Americans of Massachusetts in the Revolution

Some have witnessed a shadowy mist blocking their view of the stage, dark shadows passing in front of their seats, or the stage curtains rippling as if someone were walking behind them—but no one was there. Sounds like at least one phantom is still yearning for some time in the spotlight.

Manuel Rionda, a sugar baron living in the wealthy New Jersey enclave of Alpine, wanted to do something nice for his wife Harriet. In , he built a tall gothic stone tower to give her a view of the New York City skyline. But the gesture lost its charm when, sitting atop the tower one day, Harriet spotted Manuel with another woman. With years of fears and suspicions confirmed, Harriet grew despondent and leapt from the tower. Afterward, every time Manuel walked up its stairs, he heard footsteps and sobs or felt the push of a cold, angry hand.


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  • Overcome with guilt and fear, Manuel walled up the tower, vowing that no one should ever climb it again. After his death in the s, construction crews came to tear the tower down, but after several men fell to their deaths, they left the building as it was. One night, as the two danced at an officer's birthday party, a messenger burst in to announce an Apache raid. Fearing he might not get another chance, Johnny immediately proposed to Celia, who said yes and promised that if he didn't return, she would never marry.