"Enslaved Africans and free blacks exhibited enormous self-agency in colonial America. James H. Johnston has captured this through the life of Yarrow Mamout and his descendants. This exceptional man was a Muslim and a slave for forty- four years, who earned enough money, to buy a house in 1800 in Georgetown, then as now a very rich place. Mamout’s story is of Islam, in early America, of slavery in Washington, D.C the nation’s capital and of the role free Blacks played to free their sisters and brothers."—Maurice Jackson, author of Let This Voice be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism
The most comprehensive account of Mamout's life (and that of his descendants) is in James H. Johnston, From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American Family (Fordham University Press, 2012); see also Johnston's "Every Picture Tells a Story: A Narrative Portrait of Yarrow Mamout" (Maryland Historical Magazine, Winter 2008, pp. 416-431).
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