James Russell

James appears to travel alone in the Book of Negroes and in the Birchtown Muster although he travels near to Capt. George Fraction in the Book of Negroes and is in his company in the Birchtown Muster. They were both in the Black Brigade - as with all the people on the November sailing of the ship L'Abondance. James claims to have been born free and this is true. He belongs to the small and highly vulnerable free balck community in Virginia. He is the son of Amy Russell born 1764. He (with his brother Frank) a "free negro" was bound to to Norfolk tavern owner John Runsberg, on 17 December 1773 [Orders 1773-5, 8]. Runsberg was a loyalist and James defected to Lord Dunmore in 1776, but it is not known what happened to Frank. It is possible that his sister is Jenny, wife of Capt. George Fraction, who is therefore his brother-in-law.
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7/ Nov

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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


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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


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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
L'Abondance - November
Master: Lt. Phillips
Port Mattoon james Russell 20 stout fellow Black Brigade. Born free in Norfolk. lived with John Mansburgh, Norfolk County,Virginia


Birchtown Muster - Birchtown

Source for this event: Birchtown Muster of Free Blacks
Name Age Occupation Families they lived with Companies they belong to Remarks Company They Are Now With
James Russell 23 Labourer Captain George Fraction