Kessiah Sheppard

Kessiah Sheppard travels with her partner (and later husband) John Martin, as well as her parents, Lucy and Thomas Shepperd on board L'Abondance in the Book of Negroes. Kessiah and her father Thomas were owned by different members of the Shepherd/ Shepperd/ Sheppard family - Joseph and Saul respectively - and although the family is represented, it is not possible to identify either of their owners by name in the Norfolk or Princess Ann County tithable lists. Kessiah in any case would have been too young to be declared before she ran in 1779. In the Birchtown Muster, Kessiah and John Martin are part of Colonel Blucke's Company - the same company as her parents, Lucy and Thomas Shepperd and their younger daughter Nancy (Maria).
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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


The Burning of Portsmouth - Portsmouth

  • The Burning of Portsmouth 1779 -

    In May 1779 the British detached a fleet of ships under Admiral Collier with a army detachment under General Matthew to make a putative raid into the Lower Chesapeake and destoy the tobacco warehouses. This fleet was supported by a smaller fleet of privateers owned by John Goodridge. After destroying much of Portsmouth, the British took away a large contingent of runaways from the Portsmouth and Norfolk area. A group consisting of 256 men, 135 women and 127 children.




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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 - July
Master: Lt. Philips
Port Roseway Kessiah Sheppard 18 stout wench Formerly Slave to Saul Shepperd, Norfolk. Left 4 years ago.
Kessiah Sheppard's Relationships


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
Kesiah Martin 18 Col. Blucke
Kesiah Martin's Relationships