The Whitening of Black Sam Fraunces - Fraunces Tavern NYC

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Anita Wills

Anita Wills

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Samuel Fraunces was a Cook for George Washington. Born in Caribbean of black and white parents.  Fraunces owned one of the finest taverns in colonial New York City. When Washington arrived in Philadelphia in 1790 as President, Fraunces came with him as his personal cook and established a business referred to later as the Golden Sun Tavern. Fraunces's Tavern was the social center of the New York City. It was there in 1768 that the Commerce was organized. It was here in 1774 that the Sons of Liberty planned a New York "Tea Party." http://www.kitchensisters.org/hidden_kitchens/herculeshemings_story27.htm


Sam's daughter Phoebe is credited with saving Washington's life and spying for him. The father and daughter's racial identity is recorded as Negro, colored, Haitian Negro, Mulatto, "fastidious old Negro" and swarthy. Fraunces was immortalized in Philip Freneau's 1786 book of poems as "Black Sam." He was familiarly called by his nick name because of his tan complexion and his tight., curly hair. The Son's of the Revolution (SR), are on a mission to change Sam's Tavern into a Museum, and remake him into a white man.  Several of my ancestors were classified as mistakenly classified as White, because of their light coloring, then reclassified as Mulatto.  Look at the first and last pictures,  posted to this site. The first picture is of  (Black), Sam and the last is my relatives, Aunt Dot, Uncle Chester Ruth, who was identified as, "Colored" another form of Mulatto.

Dedicated to the Memory of My beloved Grandson Kerry Baxter Junior! You are always a part of our lives & Family. Your spirit is alive and Well!

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