Samuel Ringgold Ward (1817–c.1866)
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Samuel Ringgold Ward (1817–c.1866) book
Samuel Ringgold Ward, though largely forgotten, was one of the most talented and intriguing black abolitionists to cross the Atlantic in the mid-nineteenth century. Both contemporaries and historians have judged him to be one of the most brilliant of that generation of activists. While Ward’s time in Jamaica has been explored by a number of historians, his time in Ireland has been ignored. However, his observations on the Irish peasantry, especially the Catholic peasantry, are suggestive of some deep-rooted prejudices that help to explain his subsequent actions in Jamaica. Unlike many black abolitionists and fugitive slaves who travelled to the United Kingdom, Ward’s knowledge of slavery was largely second-hand. He was born in Maryland in October 1817 to two enslaved parents. His family escaped to New Jersey in 1820, later relocating to New York City.