Primus

This is the final resting place of a man identified as simply Primus.


    

The small chipped headstone reads: In memory of Primus, who was a faithful servant of Mr. Benjamin Stevens, Junr., who died July 25, 1792: Aged 72 y. 5 m. 16 d.

His grave stands alone; A distance away and apart from others in this cemetery. It is in the topographically lowest section of the graveyard, quite near the stone wall boundary separating the Burying Ground from pasture land.


There are no headstones or records of "Negroes" besides Primus being interred in the North Parish Burial Ground however the North Parish Church records contain names of departed "negroes" but offers no clue as to where their remains may be located:

Lew, ______, Mrs., old age, Jan. 2, 1837, a. 96 y. 
Mercury [b. East Indies], "a Foreigner" 
Samuel Johnson, jr." [dropsy {edema/swelling}], July 7, 1814, a. 16 y. 
Frye, Cesar [Done], Sept. 12, 1811 
Freeman, Nathaniel, drowned, Dec. 19, 1816 
Porter, Jane [bet. Mar. 16 and May 1], 1822. 
Walker, Phillis, w. Prince [asthma], Nov. 13, 1811. [{also entered in church record} Nov. 1]

And two (one an infant) whose names are now known only to the Lord:

Nov. 23, 1812, a. 4 m.

Aug. __, 1825. 
 


Although Massachusetts was the first state to abolish slavery when a court decided in 1781 that the phrase in the first article of the Massachusetts Constitution ( All men are created free and equal..) applied to "Negroes," there were many "manservants" and "permanent apprentices" through the 1800's according to census records.



Vital Records (birth/marriages/deaths) for Andover 1646-1849

Genealogists interested in this region - http://www.rays-place.com/




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