1769Robin Freeman, an enslaved man formerly known as Robin Byles, “bought” his freedom from Captain Byles.People and Communities, African American History

Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Account Book of Capt. Charles Byles, 1751-1778.
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A 1763 entry from Captain Byles account book marks the amount Robin (Robing) owed for his freedom. “Must pay house rent from 3/1/1769 at 24L per year. All the cash I rec’d of Robing towards his freedom is 85. What due to Robing of his lottery money 18 And there is due to me and there he is free 47”

After buying his freedom, Robin changed his surname to Freeman. His family continued living on Captain Byles’s property in West Gloucester and farmed livestock.

Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Account Book of Capt. Charles Byles, 1751-1778. Wellspring House, History Lives Here: Freeman Family Project. Hardy, Molly O’Hagan. Unfolding Histories: Cape Ann before 1900. Gloucester (MA): Cape Ann Museum, 2018.
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Account Book of Capt. Charles Byles, 1751-1778.
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