John B. Russwurm and His Early Years in America

  • Amos J. Beyan


John Brown Russwurm was born on October 1, 1799 in Port Antonia, Jamaica to a white Virginian American merchant and slave owner named John Russwurm and an enslaved black Jamaican whose name is not mentioned in surviving records.1 It could be assumed that Russwurm was born a slave, since the slave laws of Jamaica stipulated that the status of a child was the same as that of his or her mother.2 The ignominy associated with being the father of an interracial child in Jamaica was probably among the many reasons why Russwurm’s father decided to send him to Quebec, Canada in 1807 when he was approximately seven years of age.3


York City Black Community Slave Owner Black Leader Black Nationalism 
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© Amos J. Beyan 2005

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