Mary was born free in Jamaica, Long Island. She left New York on the 31 October 1783 with her two children, Matthew and Silas, on board the ship Elijah. Her husband, Silas Bright also left New York on board this ship, although he appears to have boarded two others prior to this point (the Blackett and the Mars). They all reappear as a family group in the Birchtown Muster.
Matthew, who was 10 years old at the time of the Muster and uses the last name 'Retus' appears to be Mary's child from a previous relationship.
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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.”
|Vessel Names and their Commanders||Where Bound||Names||Age||Description||Names of the Person in whose Possession they now are||Remarks|
Master: Alexander Buchanon
|Port Mattoon||Mary Bright||26||Ordinary Wench||Hugh Miller||Born free in Long Island.|
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|
|Mary Bright||26||Captain Robert George Bridges' Company|