Black Loyalist is a repository of historical data about the African American loyalist refugees who left New York between April and November 1783 and whose names are recorded in the Book of Negroes. In this first stage, the site concentrates on providing biographical and demographic information for the largest cohort, about 1000 people from Norfolk Virginia and surrounding counties.
To browse the collection use the buttons on the left.
Known as 'Daddy Moses', this man was the leader of the large Methodist congregation that settled at Birchtown. Moses was blind and crippled, probably as a result of contracting smallpox in 1776. This made him appear an old man when he was only in his thirties. His owner was the Suffolk merchant Mills Wilkinson, son of Willis Wilkinson of Pigs Point Nansemond. He was the first wave of Wilkinson slaves to defect to Lord Dunmore in December 1775. The records of the Committee of Safety for Virginia show other slaves owned by Mills Wilkinson were captured at Great Bridge in Dec 1775. Another large group of slaves from Wilkinson (father and son) went in 1779. Moses may have run with another Methodist preacher, Jack Jordan. The Wilkinson runaways are closely connected with the Jordan runaways. The Wilkinson family were originally Quakers, like the Jordan family.