Benjamin Benson (1818–?)
DOI link for Benjamin Benson (1818–?)
Benjamin Benson (1818–?) book
Benjamin Benson is an enigma. An enslaved person with a unique story, he clearly preferred his role as a promoter of temperance and evangelism to that of being a champion of abolition. The man, Benjamin Benson, was described as ‘a lone Negro, a stranger, in poor health and with no skill or trade’. Welch invited ‘the forlorn figure’ to his London home. It was not the first time that Welch had shown sympathy to a vulnerable male. While in Florida, he had become interested in the fate of a Native American Seminole child, Oceola Nikkanochee. According to Welch’s narrative, Benson had been born into enslavement in Bermuda in the West Indies, which was part of the British Empire. Unusually, he knew his precise date of birth, 16 December 1818. It was sometime afterwards, that Welch encountered Benson in the streets of Worcester, about 100 miles north of London.