P is for Young Philander.
Young Philander, a slave boy from Maryland, arrived in Bath January of 1706 one
year after the Town of Bath was chartered by the Lords Proprietors.
Young Philander was named after his father Philander, and like him and most
slaves, they both had no last name. He was sold in Maryland and shipped down to
the new town of Bath along with two other slaves, his father and a female Negro
slave Sarah. Shipped with the slaves was a large shipment of household goods
including mattresses, furniture, utensils and tools that from (Beaufort County
Deedbook Vol I) records appear to be suitable for a new settler’s first home.
Young Philander’s new owner was a successful merchant from Bath, George Birkenhead. The seller Thomas
Sparrow was from Arundel County, Maryland, one of many known inter-colonial merchants who first traded in
Bath then bought town lots. Witnesses to his bill of sale were Bath’s town clerk Levy Truewhitt and Bath’s French
Huguenot doctor/surgeon, Maurice Lluwellen, who built one of Bath’s first Water Street homes (now called Main
Street). The three slaves and assorted household goods were sold as a package for 150 British pounds sterling
Other slaves first names in old Bath County Deed Book
to 1729; NEGROES –First Names Index p. 213:
Ann (mustee) Andrew, Barsue, Bess, Bristal, Bursten,
Caesar, Charles, Cesar, Cezar, Cupid, Diana (mustee),
Dego, Dick, Dido, Frank, George, Gratia, Hagar, Harry,
Hector, Henry, Jack, Joan, John, Jupiter, Kate, Lawrence,
Maria, Manuel, Matthew, Minda, Mingo, Molly, Oliver,
Peter, Philander, Phillis, Pompey, Pamptico, Pungo,
Richard, Rustkin, Sampson, Sandy, Sarah, (mulatto),
Scipio, Slocomb, Stephen, Thomas, Tom, Tony, Tom, Wan,
Philander sailed into Port Bath in the cold winter of January 1706, mostly likely on a sloop or a schooner. He might
have been picked up by his new owner in a wagon or transferred to a plantation workboat to get to his new home’s
river landing or he might have had to walk on local foot paths and wagon roads with other slaves. Depending on
his skills, he might have been selected to be a house slave or a field slave. Some jobs as a plantation slave boy
might have included packing lumber, shingles, barrel staves or helping to grow crops, catch fish or load barrels of
tar, salted pork or corn or beans. Every fall after harvest slaves would help the planter-merchants at their river
landings prepare surplus commodities for shipment to Port Bath by raft, flat, scow, periaguer, or even by canoe.
Below are two images of periauger workboats from the Caribbean similar to those in use on the early 18th c. Bath
waterfront. Periaugers were commonly used up and down the waterways along the Pamlico River and Pamlico
Sound in colonial times because they could be sailed or rowed between plantations, ports, and large ocean going
ships with draft greater than eight feet moored in deep water. Most of the planter-merchants had them and even
pirates like Blackbeard. One image shows slaves rolling barrels of sugar onto a small two masted periauger on
the beach in the West Indies. Carolina and Virginia colonial planter-merchants used small river work boats like
the periauger (2 masts) or a shallop (1 mast) but they also floated goods downriver in large canoes, skiffs, and
rafts. Planter farmers loaded their work boats with commodities packed in all sizes of wood barrels, kegs, or
Image of re-enactors retrieved from Williamsburg
Foundation website November 27, 2015
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