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Free Blacks in Lancaster and Chester County

Seeking More Information

From Anita Wills, June 4, 2005

I am the author of a book, Notes And Documents of Free Persons of Color. The first chapter of my book takes place in Chester and Lancaster County Pennsylvania. The book is actually about my ancestors, who were free blacks, and escaped slaves in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Many of my ancestors escaped, or fled to Pennsylvania, and lived in Chester and Lancaster Counties.

You wrote about Elizabeth and Rachael Parker, and the Parkers are cousins through my Green line. My Great Great Grandfather, Henry Green, was charged with participation in the Christiana Resistance. He also fought in the Civil War out of Lancaster County. I received information stating that Henry Green's mother and father were escaped slaves from Maryland, who were living with a white man named Green in Lancaster County. The wife was kidnapped and taken back to Maryland, and the husband followed her. The husband was never heard from again, but the wife was sold into New Orleans. The white man raised the three children, one of whom was my ancestor, Henry Green. I believe Henry's mother was named Charlotte, but I do not know the father's name, or their surname.

I wonder if their last name was Parker, as my family is related to the Parkers. However, we are also related to the Johnsons, who were also free blacks in Lancaster County.

I am looking for more information on kidnappings in Pennsylvania. My ancestor, Henry Green was born about 1838, in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. The kidnapping would have happened sometime around 1840. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Anita Wills

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This page was updated June 15, 2005.