In the 1760s, Occramer Marycoo was taken to the American colonies against his will. When he re-crossed the Atlantic in 1826, he was a free man who also went by the name Newport Gardner. In between, he was a composer, a teacher, a small-business owner, and a prominent member of Newport, Rhode Island Free African community. In this episode, Kristin follows the remarkable journey of the man, who bought his freedom and returned to Africa, known as both Occramer Marycoo – and Newport Gardner.
Edward E. Andrews, “The Crossings of Occramar Marycoo, or Newport Gardner,” in Atlantic Biographies: Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World, eds. Jeffrey A. Fortin and Mark Meuwese, Boston, (2014), 101-124.
John Russell Bartlett, History of Lotteries and the Lottery System in Rhode Island, University of Rhode Island, (2003).
Akeia A. F. Benard, “The Free African American Cultural Landscape: Newport, RI, 1774-1826”, PhD diss., University of Connecticut, (2008).
Elaine Forman Crane, A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era, Fordham University Press, (1985, 1992).
Newport Historical Society, “Newport Gardner Letter,” (2012).
—, “Mapping the Newport Experience”.
The Proceedings of the Free African Union Society and the African Benevolent Society, Newport, Rhode Island 1780-1824, ed. and intro, William H. Robinson, The Urban League of Rhode Island, (1976).
Richard C. Youngken, African Americans in Newport, The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, (1998).
“Crooked Shanks” performed.
“A Plan of the Town of Newport in Rhode Island,” Charles Blaskowitz, (1777).
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)