Silas Bright

It is rare that someone is entered more than once in the Book of Negroes. Silas Bright appears three times and we believe these entries refer to the same person. He first appears on the ship Blackett destined to leave New York sometime before July 1783 - in this entry his age is recorded as 31 and his former owner as Griffin Peart. He appears again on board the Mars on the 8th of July 1783. This time his age is is 25 but his owner is again listed as Griffin Peart. He appears for the last time on board the Elijah, sailing on the 31st of October. His age in this listing is 26 but his owner has changed to William Fife.

What connects these three entries in the Book of Negroes is the marriage of Griffin Peart and Elizabeth Fife in 1767. This would explain why he gave the names of two different owners in his listings.

It appears that when Silas finally makes the voyage on the Elijah he does so with his family, Mary Bright and her children Matthew and Silas. We find them together in a family group in the Birchtown Muster. As Mary was born on Long Island it can be assumed that they met in New York. The ship jumping could be a case of trying to connect with Mary.

The name 'Bright' appears to come from a sea Captain, Caleb Bright who owned a negro 'Sandy' in 1773 with Francis Bright. The slaves of these captains are often absent or working for others when the tithable list is made. Griffin and Francis Peart (also captains) list a 'Cyrus' in 1777, but not after that. Silas probably left in 1777 on a privateer or a British warship.

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1757

Born

10/ June
1773

Tithables for Edmond's Bridge to St. Brides Parish - 1773 - Edmond's Bridge to St. Brides Parish

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 3, 1766 - 1780
Name Owner
Sandy Caleb Bright - Norfolk

1775

Ran

7/ Nov
1775

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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

1776

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.

1777

Tithables for Great Bridge to New Mill Creek- 1777 - Great Bridge to Edmonds Bridge and New Mill Creek

Name Owner
Cyrus Griffin Pierte [Peart] - Greatbridge

1782

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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

1783

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
Blacket
Master: John Roxby
Port Roseway Silas Bright 31 Stout Mulatto Formerly Slave to Griffin Pierte [Peart], Greatbridge. Left 7 years ago. Certificate from General Birch.

1783

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
Elijah
Master: Alexander Buchanon
Port Mattoon Silas Bright 26 Stout Fellow Formerly Slave to William Fife, Norfolk. Left 8 years ago. Certificate from General Birch.
Remarks:[This is the last and principal entry for Silas Bright in the Book of Negroes.]
Silas Bright's Relationships

1783

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
Mars
Master: James Greyson
Port Roseway Silas Bright 25 Stout Fellow James McKee [Mckie] Formerly Slave to Griffin Pierte [Peart], Greatbridge. Left 6 years ago. Certificate from General Birch.

1784

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
Silas Bright 25 Labourer Captain Robert George Bridges' Company
Silas Bright's Relationships