James Jackson

James Jackson 50 was a pilot recruited by the British late in 1775. In the Book of Negroes James appears to be travelling with his extended nuclear family: wife Judith and son Harry, plus his son by an earlier marriage, London, and London's wife Sebro and daughter Zelpher. All these people are spoken for by Capt Henry Mowat, of the Royal Navy, with whom James presumably worked during the revolution. They are also traveling with another possible relative, Nelly Jackson, 33 who looks to be a sister -in-law.

James Jackson was one of the enslaved maritime workers of the prominent Norfolk merchant Colonel Robert Tucker and his family. We assume he is the skipper named Jemmy in Tucker's 1767 estate. His mother was Jane Jackson/Thompson and his unknown father who carried the the surname Jackson were enslaved to Colonel Tucker's uncle, although the surname Jackson could be connected to a extensive family of small time white maritime workers associated with the Norfolk and Portsmouth mercantile industries.

James was born into the Tucker estate, since as his mother was owned by Tucker. He is the Jemmy listed in his tithables and Tucker's inventory in 1767. He says his owner was the late Colonel Tucker which is ambiguous about his status after Colonel Tucker's death in 1767. He may have been informally free and working independently out of Hampton where he had a family owned by William Ballard.

James and London Jackson were among four pilots who were granted land on Nutt Island and they would have been away from Birchtown when the muster was taken. James Jackson died in 1789. He may be the father of James Jackson [Sweepston].

James Jackson Relationships
  • Child: London Jackson, Assumed [ Common Distinctive Name, Proximity In The Ship, Proximity In Ownership, Shared Group Membership Shared Indenture or Employment ] , Source: The Book of Negroes
  • Siblings: John Jackson [Walke], Assumed [ Common Distinctive Name, Proximity In The Ship(s), Proximity In Ownership, Kin Relations Between Owners Appropriate Ages ] , Source: The Book of Negroes
  • Relative: Nelly Jackson, Common Distinctive Name, Proximity In The Ship Shared Indenture or Employment , Source: The Book of Negroes
  • Parent: Jane Thompson [Tucker], , Source: Grants of Land - Nova Scotia

Related Background Information

  • Jane Jackson-Thompson -

    Jane Thompson is one of the oldest members of the cohort of Black Loyalists from Virginia. She appears to be the matriarch of a very large extended family.

  • John Murray, Lord Dunmore -

    John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1732 – 25 February 1809), was the  colonial governor of Virginia at the outbreak of the American Revolution.






Tithables for East Side of Church Street - 1774 - East Side of Church Street

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 3, 1766 - 1780
Name Owner
James Robert Tucker Jnr. -

7/ Nov

Thumbnail of SetWidth50-lorddunmore.jpg
See Original

Lord Dunmore's Proclamation - Norfolk

  • John Murray, Lord Dunmore -

    John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1732 – 25 February 1809), was the  colonial governor of Virginia at the outbreak of the American Revolution.

Source for this event: Lord Dunmore's Proclamation


Recruited as a pilot for Lord Dunmore

Source for this event: Virginia Gazette




Small Pox outbreak - Gwynn's Island

  • Small Pox -

    In January 1776  smallpox made an appearance in Virginia. Although smallpox had been present in the colony at times before there had never been such a serious and widespread outbreak.


Thumbnail of SetWidth50-treaty-of-paris-signature.jpg
See Original

Treaty of Paris - Paris France

  • Treaty of Paris -

    In November 1782 a provisional peace treaty was hammered out between the British and the Americans in Paris.

Source for this event: Treaty of Paris


Thumbnail of SetWidth50-bon_page_006.JPG
See Original

Evacuation of New York - New York

  • Evacuation of New York -

    In April 1783 the first evacuation fleet left for Nova Scotia. A week later  the British Commander, Sir Guy Carleton, sailed up the Hudson River to Orangetown for a conference with General Washington to discuss the evacuation. As the victorious commander, Washington opened the meeting by reiterating the resolution of Congress regarding “the delivery of all Negroes and other property.”

Source for this event: The Book of Negroes
Vessel Names and their Commanders Where Bound Names Age Description Names of the Person in whose Possession they now are Remarks
Master: Hugh Watts
Port Roseway James Jackson 50 thin, goes as pilot Capt. Mowat Formerly Slave to Col. Robert Tucker, Norfolk. Left 8 years ago. left him with Lord Dunmore when he left that country & was employed as a pilot.
James Jackson's Relationships