Molly Sweney [Sweeney]

Molly Sweney was one of the surviving runaways of John Willoughby. She is probably married to Charles Sweeney, the property of the late Major Sweeney of Hampton. Major Sweeney has a close kin connection to John Willoughy. The latter's brother, Lemuel Willoughby was married to Sweney's daughter and both brothers are recipients of slaves in Sweney's will, thereby uniting these two white families and their property into a kinship network. It is assumed that Molly came into Willoughby's household as a result of this transfer. She cannot be found in his Norfolk tithables, but she may have worked on the plantation in Princess Anne County. It is assumed that she is the woman named as Manda aged 25 with three boys in John Willoughby Jr petition. One of her boys could possibly be Richard Swan, who could have been under 16 in 1776. Neither Molly nor Charles are in the Birchtown Muster.





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


British Invasion of Philadelphia - Chesapeake

  • The campaign for Philadelphia -

    On July 23 1777 the British fleet left from Sandy Hook, New York carrying more than 15,000 soldiers and headed into the Atlantic before turning south to enter the Chesapeake in August and sail up the bay to its northern extremity to set the troops ashore at the head of the Elk River on August 25.




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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
Nisbet - November
Master: Wilson
Port Mattoon Molly Sweney [Sweeney] 30 stout wench Formerly Slave to John Willoughby, Norfolk. Left 5 years ago. Wagon Master General Department.
Molly Sweney [Sweeney]'s Relationships
  • Married: Charles Sweeney [Assumed Common Distinctive Name Proximity In The Ship Proximity In Ownership Kin Relations Between Owners ]