Abdul Rahman (Rahaman), 1828

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This record was last updated on 17 Mar 2016

Image Reference

Artist, Henry Inman, 1828. From the Colonization and Journal of Freedom (1834), frontispiece

Engraving of crayon drawing. A Muslim Fulbe (Fulani), Rahman was born in Timbuktu (present-day Mali) around 1762; as a child he moved to the Futa Jallon region in the present-day Republic of Guinea. Educated in Arabic and the Koran, in 1788/89, when around 26, he was captured during warfare and taken far from his homeland to the Gambia. Sold to the British, he was then taken to the Caribbean island of Dominica, where he briefly stayed, and from there to New Orleans, where he was sold to a cotton plantation near Natchez, Mississippi. Enslaved for about 40 years in the U.S., mostly in the Natchez area, he was manumitted in 1828, and traveled to various parts of the eastern U.S. on his way back to Africa. He ultimately reached Liberia, where he died in 1829. For details and references, see Jerome S. Handler, Survivors of the Middle Passage: Life Histories of Enslaved Africans in British America, Slavery & Abolition, vol. 23 (2002), pp. 25-56. Rahaman was one of the passengers aboard the ship "Harriet," chartered by the American Colonization Society, which left Hampton Roads, Virginia, in February 1829, bound for Liberia. He must have died not long after arrival. Eight of his descendants migrated to Liberia in 1830, from Norfolk, Virginia, on another ship chartered by the AMS (Archibald Alexander, A History of Colonization on the Western Coast of Africa [Philadelphia, 1846], pp. 256-257, 347.