Mary Johnson was a free African woman!


Billy Eagle

WTK  Bringing The Constitution and American history back to life for our children through our children.

After their plantation suffered a devastating fire in 1653, the Johnsons asked the Northampton County Court for some tax relief, and the court excused Mary and their two daughters. In subsequent decades the Virginia General Assembly passed laws progressively restricting Africans’ rights and movements. The Johnsons left Virginia for Maryland in the mid-1660s, remaining free and leasing a 300-acre plantation. Upon Anthony’s death, Mary used the legal system to renegotiate the lease for 99 years, and in her will of 1672, Mary gifted livestock to several of her grandchildren.

For more information on Mary Johnson and photo, gallery go to Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum –



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