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Post #10 - CAAP
In Response To: Post #9 - CAAP ()

California’s African American Pioneers
Developed and Submitted by Guy Washington
National Park Service
1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700
Oakland, CA 94607
510-817-1390
January 3, 2005

Williams, James – Young, Benjamin

Williams, James
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of San Jose.
He was the first black person to settle in Santa Clara County. #15, p.103

He was born John Thomas in Elkton, Maryland on April 1, 1825.
He was enslaved to William Hollingsworth. #17, p.9

He escaped from bondage on his owner’s blooded mare at the age of thirteen. #17, p.11

He joined his family, who had previously escaped, in Pennsylvania. #17, p.12

He began work on the Underground Railroad at the age of sixteen.
He worked for abolitionists Asa Walton and Clarkson Crozier (1841-1842). #17, p.14

In 1847 he took the name James Williams.
He made contact with slaves and hid them in a covered wagon for transport north.
The freedom seekers paid a white Underground Railroad worker for their passage.
Williams transported ten to fifteen people at a time. #17, p.15

He fought off attacks by kidnappers and in 1848 he was shot in a fight in Philadelphia. #17, p.16

In Boston he helped William Craft fight off slave catchers.
He left Boston for New Bedford, where he spent three weeks. #17, p.22

He left New York for California on March 3, 1851 on the steamer North America.
He did not sign on as crew, but went as a passenger working to pay his fare.
He deserted the ship at Gorgonia. #17, p.24

He went to the American Hotel in Panama and took a job as porter for $75 per month. #17, pp.25-26

He was believed to have been onboard the Jenny Lind. #17, p.29

On May 15, 1851 he arrived in Sacramento.
He worked for six months in the gold mines at Nigger Hills. #17, p.30

He worked for three months at Kelsey’s Diggings.
He took a slave woman away from her owner in Sacramento.
After one week the woman returned to the slaveholder.
He was attacked and badly beaten by a party of Missourians on a ferry between Sacramento and San Francisco.
He went from San Francisco to “Mexico” and Guaymas. #17, p.31

He worked to pay his passage to Mazatlan and shipped as crew on Calilena, bound for Taluana.
Captain Wilson was also known as Bully Wilson.
Williams reshiped on Kate Hayes, bound for California. #17, p,32

He arrived in San Francisco in the fall of 1853.
In 1854 he was a private watchman for James King of William.
He left for Sacramento after Casey killed King. #17, p.33

In 1857 he assisted in the rescue of Archy Lee from slave catchers in Sacramento.
The arrest attempt failed to secure Lee.
Williams, Lee and others left for Vancouver Island to be free. #17, p.34

He returned to Sacramento and returned to his old job as an express wagon driver.
He headed for the Wasoe diggings in Nevada in 1859. #17, p.35

In 1867 the trustees of the AME church in Sacramento appointed he.
Bishop Ward, then Elder, was the church’s minister. #17, p.37

In 1868 he resigned his position in the church.
In 1869 he collected for and superintended the building of an AME church in San Francisco. #17, p.38

In 1869 he was in Washington, D.C. and 1870 found him in Philadelphia. #17, p.48

On July 11, 1870 he arrived in Sacramento by boat.
He opened a store on J Street, between 9th and 10th in 1871.
He sold groceries, fruit and poultry. #17, p.51

Williams, Joe
He was a black man living in Stockton in 1858.
He had an affair with his employer’s wife and a mixed-race child was born as a result.
The husband shot and wounded Williams who was later killed by “unknown” parties. #3, p.115

Williams, John P.
He was a black man born in New Jersey and he lived in Marysville, where he worked as a barber.
In 1861 he emigrated with his wife to Haiti, but he returned to the U.S. after his wife’s death from disease. #3, p.252

Williams, Richard
He was a black man from New York who died on August 3, 1852 at age 20.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 2, Lot 162. #50, p.9

Williams, Salina
She was a black woman who worked as a steamer steward.
In 1870 she owned $12,000 in property, making her one of the ten wealthiest blacks in San Francisco.
#45, p.29

Williams, Stephen
He was a black man who died on January 30, 1862 at age 40.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 7, Lot 305. #50, p.9

Williams, William
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

“Willis”
This black person from Wisconsin died on September 13, 1852 at age 33 and was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 2, Lot 162. #50, p.9

Willmore, William
He was a black man who was a friend of Mary Ellen Pleasant.
He may have gone east with her and assisted with planning John Brown’s Raid. #1

Wilson, (Miss)
She was a black woman who came to California and became a pioneer of Petaluma. #15, p.103

Wilson, Cornelius W.
He was a black man who was a leader of the Colored Convention.
He attended Oberlin College in Ohio with Daniel Seals, Frederick Barbadoes and Fielding Smithea. #3, p.191

He co-wroted a pamphlet entitled Address of the State Executive Committee to the Colored People of the State of California.
His co-authors were Frederick Barbadoes and William H. Hall. #3, p236

He was employed at the barbershop of Isaac Cary, located in 1875 at 404 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. #27, p.16

He attended a Executive Committee of the Colored Convention meeting held in San Francisco in 1863.
The meeting was held in a Scott Street Church after passage of the Testimony Bill.
Solomon Peneton recommended the appointment of a special committee.
C. Wilson moved that a committee of three would be sufficient.
Elected were T.M.D. Ward as president, Peter Anderson as secretary, Alex Ferguson, J.B. Sanderson, F.G. Barbadoes, Shadrack Howard and William Yates. #15, p.60

Wilson, Hannah
She was a black woman who was married to Peter Wilson.
The Byrne family in Berkeley held the couple in slavery.
They were forcibly rescued from bondage by a group of black abolitionists from Oakland. #43, p.17

Wilson, I.G.
He helped establish the Franchise League to secure testimony rights for blacks on August 12, 1862.
Organizers of the league included F.G. Barbadoes, William H. Yates, Symon Cook, I.G.Wilson, R.A. Hall, Peter A. Bell and J.B. Sanderson. #15, p.54

He was one of a group of black men who pledged themselves to lobby in Sacramento for testimony rights.
The group included Henry Collins, Alfred White, Rev. Peter Cassey, William Hall, William A. Smith, George W. Dennis, J.B. Sanderson, John A. Jones, James Brown, Philip Bell, Mifflin Gibbs, David Ruggles, John Moore, Symon Cook, I.G. Wilson and R.H. Hall. #15, pp54-55

Wilson, John
He was a black bootmaker in Sacramento and a leader of the Colored Convention.
He moved to Jamaica. #3, p.259

He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Wilson, Peter
He was a black man who was married to Hannah Wilson.
The couple held in slavery by the Byrne family in Berkeley.
They were forcibly rescued from bondage by a group of black abolitionists from Oakland. #43, p.17

Wilson, Susan
She was a black woman who came to California in 1853 from Wayne County, Missouri.
She and her three daughters went first to Texas and from there to California by ox-team.
There were one hundred wagons in the ox-team and they were nearly attacked by Indians on the plains.
They began in March and reached Miles Creek, Mariposa County three weeks before Christmas.
She lived over one hundred years and stayed with her daughter Mrs.Quinn in Oakland.
A second daughter married Mr. Wysinger and a third became Mrs. Allen, who lived in Fowler. #15, p.122

“Winnie”
She was a black woman from Missouri who died on October 10, 1852 and was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 2, Lot 230. #50, p.9

Wiseman, James
He was a black man who came to California in 1849. #15, p.102

With, Henry
He was a free black man who joined a white company headed for California.
The company organized in March 1849 as the Hagerstown (Indiana) Mining Company.
Young and unmarried, Henry served as the company’s cook. #3, p.27

Wood, May (Miss)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Strawberry Valley in El Dorado County. #15, p.103

Woodis, John
He was a black resident of San Francisco who worked as a ship caulker.
In the 1870 census he reported $15,000 in property, ranking him as one of the city’s ten wealthiest blacks.
#45, p.188

Woods, Charles
He was a black man who came to California in 1849. #15, p.102

Woods, George (1828?-1869)
He was a black man from Richmond, Virginia who came to California in 1856.
He ran a barbershop with partner Samuel Groomes.
It was located on Clay Street, between Montgomery and Kearny in San Francisco. #27, p.9

Wysinger, Edward
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Yahtes, Edward
He was a black boy from Missouri who died on October 17, 1850 at age 9.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at SE ¼, Lot 175. #50, p.10

Yantes, Henry
This was a black person who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Sacramento. #15, p.102

In 1860 he was an expressman in Sacramento.
His daughter won a silver medal of achievement in school. #3, p.178

He was a back man from Kentucky who died on September 17, 1882 at age 80.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Lot 1333. #50, p.10

Yates, William Henry (1816 -1868)
He was a Virginia-born black man who arrived in California in 1851.
He used his hotel experience to obtain employment as a steward on bay and river boats.
He was steward on the new, elegant Bay ferry Chrysopolis.
He served a key role of linking various black communities in Northern California because his job allowed him to regularly travel around the area. #3, p.99

He helped establish the Franchise League to secure testimony rights for blacks on August 12, 1862.
Organizers of the league included F.G. Barbadoes, William H. Yates, Symon Cook, I.G. Wison, R.A. Hall, Peter A. Bell and J.B. Sanderson. #15, p.54

He served on a special committee selected by the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention.
The Executive Committee met in San Francisco during 1863 after passage of the Testimony Bill.
Solomon Peneton recommended the appointment of this committee at a Scott Street church meeting.
C. Wilson moved that a committee of three would be sufficient.
Elected were T.M.D. Ward as president, Peter Anderson as secretary, Alex Ferguson, J.B. Sanderson, F.G. Barbadoes, Shadrack Howard and William Yates. #15, p.60

He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention selected in 1865.
The committee included F.G. Barbadoes as president, Solomon Peneton as vice-president, Henry Hall as corresponding secretary, James R. Starkey as treasurer, Shadrack Howard as recording secretary, William Yates, Henry Collins, William H. Hall, James P. Dyer, J. Madison Bell, Edward W. Parker, David W. Ruggles and John F. Meshaw.
He was a member of the Publicity Committee for Equality Before the Law and this group also included James R. Starkey, R.A. Hall, James P. Dyer, F.G. Barbadoes, S. Hall and Philip A. Bell. #15, p.63

He was a leader of the Colored Convention and a subscriber to Frederick Douglass’ Paper. #3, p.188

He was born into slavery in Virginia and lived in Washington, D.C. before his departure for California.
He was a custodian for the U.S. Supreme Court and owned a business.
He purchased freedom for himself, his wife and two children.
He served as the permanent chair of the 1st Colored Convention in California. #3, p.213

He was active in the Underground Railroad in Washington, D.C.
He had to flee the city permanently in 1849 due to his efforts to assist freedom seekers. #3, p.214

Though he was the son of a free man, Yates was born in the District of Columbia to an enslaved mother.
He purchased his freedom for $1,000 by working as a custodian at the U.S. Supreme Court.
He left Washington, D.C. after 1845 due to the suspicion that he had aided fugitive slaves.
He went to New York and became a steward of the Manhattan Club.
After losing his money in a restaurant venture, in 1851 he took the steamship Golden Gate to California.
He worked for the California Steam Navigation Company.
As a citizen of San Francisco, he became the first permanent chairman of the State Colored Convention.
He was one of ten people from San Francisco, Sacramento and Marysville who became the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention.
He became a member of the publishing committee for the San Francisco Elevator. #43, pp.8-11

He was a delegate at the California’s first civil rights convention in Sacramento in November, 1855.
He was a delegate of San Francisco and he was elected the convention’s president.
He died at age 52 in the fall of 1868. #58, p.4

His father was Beverly Yates, a free Baptist Clergyman at Alexandria, Virginia at the end of the 1812 War.
He married a woman of mixed African, Indian and white ancestry, and a son, William, was born in 1816.
Both the mother and son were claimed as property by Mrs. Black and they were enslaved on her estate.
The seven-year-old boy was troublesome and was hired out, first to a potter and then to a carriage painter.
At age 14 he was allowed to hire his own time to a hotel, which paid his owner $5 a month for his time.
At age 17, his owner, Mrs. Black, agreed to allow William to purchase his freedom for $1,000.
He was employed by Fuller’s Hotel in Washington, D.C. as its head porter.
Two years later, in 1836, he married his first wife and made plans to purchase her freedom.
For five years he worked as a porter and a janitor at the U.S. Supreme Court.
He bought his freedom and also purchased a horse and hack, which he hired a man to drive.
He purchased the freedom of his wife and their two children who were born enslaved.
By 1842, Yates bought a coach and horses and operated his own transport business.
He organized Washington D.C.’s first Negro literary and debating society, its first temperance organization and a military band, which he led.
His coaches and horses were used to convey freedom seekers and his stables and hayloft were used to hide them.
After the death of his wife in 1849, he moved to New York with his seven children.
He had became notorious and felt unsafe due to his underground activities.
His hotel experience gained him positions as stewards on steamships.
He came to San Francisco in 1851 on the steamer Golden Gate. #58, p.5

His children arrived later and he remarried and established a new and prosperous household.
The 1860 census valued his real estate at $7,500.
He lived on the south side of Pacific Street, between Hyde and Larkin.
He began to work on the river steamers Eclipse and Chrysopolis, which operated on the Stockton and Sacramento routes. #58, p.6

Young, Benjamin
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

California’s African American Pioneers
Developed and Submitted by Guy Washington
National Park Service
1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700
Oakland, CA 94607
510-817-1390
January 3, 2005

Williams, James – Young, Benjamin

Williams, James
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of San Jose.
He was the first black person to settle in Santa Clara County. #15, p.103

He was born John Thomas in Elkton, Maryland on April 1, 1825.
He was enslaved to William Hollingsworth. #17, p.9

He escaped from bondage on his owner’s blooded mare at the age of thirteen. #17, p.11

He joined his family, who had previously escaped, in Pennsylvania. #17, p.12

He began work on the Underground Railroad at the age of sixteen.
He worked for abolitionists Asa Walton and Clarkson Crozier (1841-1842). #17, p.14

In 1847 he took the name James Williams.
He made contact with slaves and hid them in a covered wagon for transport north.
The freedom seekers paid a white Underground Railroad worker for their passage.
Williams transported ten to fifteen people at a time. #17, p.15

He fought off attacks by kidnappers and in 1848 he was shot in a fight in Philadelphia. #17, p.16

In Boston he helped William Craft fight off slave catchers.
He left Boston for New Bedford, where he spent three weeks. #17, p.22

He left New York for California on March 3, 1851 on the steamer North America.
He did not sign on as crew, but went as a passenger working to pay his fare.
He deserted the ship at Gorgonia. #17, p.24

He went to the American Hotel in Panama and took a job as porter for $75 per month. #17, pp.25-26

He was believed to have been onboard the Jenny Lind. #17, p.29

On May 15, 1851 he arrived in Sacramento.
He worked for six months in the gold mines at Nigger Hills. #17, p.30

He worked for three months at Kelsey’s Diggings.
He took a slave woman away from her owner in Sacramento.
After one week the woman returned to the slaveholder.
He was attacked and badly beaten by a party of Missourians on a ferry between Sacramento and San Francisco.
He went from San Francisco to “Mexico” and Guaymas. #17, p.31

He worked to pay his passage to Mazatlan and shipped as crew on Calilena, bound for Taluana.
Captain Wilson was also known as Bully Wilson.
Williams reshiped on Kate Hayes, bound for California. #17, p,32

He arrived in San Francisco in the fall of 1853.
In 1854 he was a private watchman for James King of William.
He left for Sacramento after Casey killed King. #17, p.33

In 1857 he assisted in the rescue of Archy Lee from slave catchers in Sacramento.
The arrest attempt failed to secure Lee.
Williams, Lee and others left for Vancouver Island to be free. #17, p.34

He returned to Sacramento and returned to his old job as an express wagon driver.
He headed for the Wasoe diggings in Nevada in 1859. #17, p.35

In 1867 the trustees of the AME church in Sacramento appointed he.
Bishop Ward, then Elder, was the church’s minister. #17, p.37

In 1868 he resigned his position in the church.
In 1869 he collected for and superintended the building of an AME church in San Francisco. #17, p.38

In 1869 he was in Washington, D.C. and 1870 found him in Philadelphia. #17, p.48

On July 11, 1870 he arrived in Sacramento by boat.
He opened a store on J Street, between 9th and 10th in 1871.
He sold groceries, fruit and poultry. #17, p.51

Williams, Joe
He was a black man living in Stockton in 1858.
He had an affair with his employer’s wife and a mixed-race child was born as a result.
The husband shot and wounded Williams who was later killed by “unknown” parties. #3, p.115

Williams, John P.
He was a black man born in New Jersey and he lived in Marysville, where he worked as a barber.
In 1861 he emigrated with his wife to Haiti, but he returned to the U.S. after his wife’s death from disease. #3, p.252

Williams, Richard
He was a black man from New York who died on August 3, 1852 at age 20.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 2, Lot 162. #50, p.9

Williams, Salina
She was a black woman who worked as a steamer steward.
In 1870 she owned $12,000 in property, making her one of the ten wealthiest blacks in San Francisco.
#45, p.29

Williams, Stephen
He was a black man who died on January 30, 1862 at age 40.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 7, Lot 305. #50, p.9

Williams, William
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

“Willis”
This black person from Wisconsin died on September 13, 1852 at age 33 and was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 2, Lot 162. #50, p.9

Willmore, William
He was a black man who was a friend of Mary Ellen Pleasant.
He may have gone east with her and assisted with planning John Brown’s Raid. #1

Wilson, (Miss)
She was a black woman who came to California and became a pioneer of Petaluma. #15, p.103

Wilson, Cornelius W.
He was a black man who was a leader of the Colored Convention.
He attended Oberlin College in Ohio with Daniel Seals, Frederick Barbadoes and Fielding Smithea. #3, p.191

He co-wroted a pamphlet entitled Address of the State Executive Committee to the Colored People of the State of California.
His co-authors were Frederick Barbadoes and William H. Hall. #3, p236

He was employed at the barbershop of Isaac Cary, located in 1875 at 404 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. #27, p.16

He attended a Executive Committee of the Colored Convention meeting held in San Francisco in 1863.
The meeting was held in a Scott Street Church after passage of the Testimony Bill.
Solomon Peneton recommended the appointment of a special committee.
C. Wilson moved that a committee of three would be sufficient.
Elected were T.M.D. Ward as president, Peter Anderson as secretary, Alex Ferguson, J.B. Sanderson, F.G. Barbadoes, Shadrack Howard and William Yates. #15, p.60

Wilson, Hannah
She was a black woman who was married to Peter Wilson.
The Byrne family in Berkeley held the couple in slavery.
They were forcibly rescued from bondage by a group of black abolitionists from Oakland. #43, p.17

Wilson, I.G.
He helped establish the Franchise League to secure testimony rights for blacks on August 12, 1862.
Organizers of the league included F.G. Barbadoes, William H. Yates, Symon Cook, I.G.Wilson, R.A. Hall, Peter A. Bell and J.B. Sanderson. #15, p.54

He was one of a group of black men who pledged themselves to lobby in Sacramento for testimony rights.
The group included Henry Collins, Alfred White, Rev. Peter Cassey, William Hall, William A. Smith, George W. Dennis, J.B. Sanderson, John A. Jones, James Brown, Philip Bell, Mifflin Gibbs, David Ruggles, John Moore, Symon Cook, I.G. Wilson and R.H. Hall. #15, pp54-55

Wilson, John
He was a black bootmaker in Sacramento and a leader of the Colored Convention.
He moved to Jamaica. #3, p.259

He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Wilson, Peter
He was a black man who was married to Hannah Wilson.
The couple held in slavery by the Byrne family in Berkeley.
They were forcibly rescued from bondage by a group of black abolitionists from Oakland. #43, p.17

Wilson, Susan
She was a black woman who came to California in 1853 from Wayne County, Missouri.
She and her three daughters went first to Texas and from there to California by ox-team.
There were one hundred wagons in the ox-team and they were nearly attacked by Indians on the plains.
They began in March and reached Miles Creek, Mariposa County three weeks before Christmas.
She lived over one hundred years and stayed with her daughter Mrs.Quinn in Oakland.
A second daughter married Mr. Wysinger and a third became Mrs. Allen, who lived in Fowler. #15, p.122

“Winnie”
She was a black woman from Missouri who died on October 10, 1852 and was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 2, Lot 230. #50, p.9

Wiseman, James
He was a black man who came to California in 1849. #15, p.102

With, Henry
He was a free black man who joined a white company headed for California.
The company organized in March 1849 as the Hagerstown (Indiana) Mining Company.
Young and unmarried, Henry served as the company’s cook. #3, p.27

Wood, May (Miss)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Strawberry Valley in El Dorado County. #15, p.103

Woodis, John
He was a black resident of San Francisco who worked as a ship caulker.
In the 1870 census he reported $15,000 in property, ranking him as one of the city’s ten wealthiest blacks.
#45, p.188

Woods, Charles
He was a black man who came to California in 1849. #15, p.102

Woods, George (1828?-1869)
He was a black man from Richmond, Virginia who came to California in 1856.
He ran a barbershop with partner Samuel Groomes.
It was located on Clay Street, between Montgomery and Kearny in San Francisco. #27, p.9

Wysinger, Edward
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Yahtes, Edward
He was a black boy from Missouri who died on October 17, 1850 at age 9.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at SE ¼, Lot 175. #50, p.10

Yantes, Henry
This was a black person who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Sacramento. #15, p.102

In 1860 he was an expressman in Sacramento.
His daughter won a silver medal of achievement in school. #3, p.178

He was a back man from Kentucky who died on September 17, 1882 at age 80.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Lot 1333. #50, p.10

Yates, William Henry (1816 -1868)
He was a Virginia-born black man who arrived in California in 1851.
He used his hotel experience to obtain employment as a steward on bay and river boats.
He was steward on the new, elegant Bay ferry Chrysopolis.
He served a key role of linking various black communities in Northern California because his job allowed him to regularly travel around the area. #3, p.99

He helped establish the Franchise League to secure testimony rights for blacks on August 12, 1862.
Organizers of the league included F.G. Barbadoes, William H. Yates, Symon Cook, I.G. Wison, R.A. Hall, Peter A. Bell and J.B. Sanderson. #15, p.54

He served on a special committee selected by the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention.
The Executive Committee met in San Francisco during 1863 after passage of the Testimony Bill.
Solomon Peneton recommended the appointment of this committee at a Scott Street church meeting.
C. Wilson moved that a committee of three would be sufficient.
Elected were T.M.D. Ward as president, Peter Anderson as secretary, Alex Ferguson, J.B. Sanderson, F.G. Barbadoes, Shadrack Howard and William Yates. #15, p.60

He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention selected in 1865.
The committee included F.G. Barbadoes as president, Solomon Peneton as vice-president, Henry Hall as corresponding secretary, James R. Starkey as treasurer, Shadrack Howard as recording secretary, William Yates, Henry Collins, William H. Hall, James P. Dyer, J. Madison Bell, Edward W. Parker, David W. Ruggles and John F. Meshaw.
He was a member of the Publicity Committee for Equality Before the Law and this group also included James R. Starkey, R.A. Hall, James P. Dyer, F.G. Barbadoes, S. Hall and Philip A. Bell. #15, p.63

He was a leader of the Colored Convention and a subscriber to Frederick Douglass’ Paper. #3, p.188

He was born into slavery in Virginia and lived in Washington, D.C. before his departure for California.
He was a custodian for the U.S. Supreme Court and owned a business.
He purchased freedom for himself, his wife and two children.
He served as the permanent chair of the 1st Colored Convention in California. #3, p.213

He was active in the Underground Railroad in Washington, D.C.
He had to flee the city permanently in 1849 due to his efforts to assist freedom seekers. #3, p.214

Though he was the son of a free man, Yates was born in the District of Columbia to an enslaved mother.
He purchased his freedom for $1,000 by working as a custodian at the U.S. Supreme Court.
He left Washington, D.C. after 1845 due to the suspicion that he had aided fugitive slaves.
He went to New York and became a steward of the Manhattan Club.
After losing his money in a restaurant venture, in 1851 he took the steamship Golden Gate to California.
He worked for the California Steam Navigation Company.
As a citizen of San Francisco, he became the first permanent chairman of the State Colored Convention.
He was one of ten people from San Francisco, Sacramento and Marysville who became the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention.
He became a member of the publishing committee for the San Francisco Elevator. #43, pp.8-11

He was a delegate at the California’s first civil rights convention in Sacramento in November, 1855.
He was a delegate of San Francisco and he was elected the convention’s president.
He died at age 52 in the fall of 1868. #58, p.4

His father was Beverly Yates, a free Baptist Clergyman at Alexandria, Virginia at the end of the 1812 War.
He married a woman of mixed African, Indian and white ancestry, and a son, William, was born in 1816.
Both the mother and son were claimed as property by Mrs. Black and they were enslaved on her estate.
The seven-year-old boy was troublesome and was hired out, first to a potter and then to a carriage painter.
At age 14 he was allowed to hire his own time to a hotel, which paid his owner $5 a month for his time.
At age 17, his owner, Mrs. Black, agreed to allow William to purchase his freedom for $1,000.
He was employed by Fuller’s Hotel in Washington, D.C. as its head porter.
Two years later, in 1836, he married his first wife and made plans to purchase her freedom.
For five years he worked as a porter and a janitor at the U.S. Supreme Court.
He bought his freedom and also purchased a horse and hack, which he hired a man to drive.
He purchased the freedom of his wife and their two children who were born enslaved.
By 1842, Yates bought a coach and horses and operated his own transport business.
He organized Washington D.C.’s first Negro literary and debating society, its first temperance organization and a military band, which he led.
His coaches and horses were used to convey freedom seekers and his stables and hayloft were used to hide them.
After the death of his wife in 1849, he moved to New York with his seven children.
He had became notorious and felt unsafe due to his underground activities.
His hotel experience gained him positions as stewards on steamships.
He came to San Francisco in 1851 on the steamer Golden Gate. #58, p.5

His children arrived later and he remarried and established a new and prosperous household.
The 1860 census valued his real estate at $7,500.
He lived on the south side of Pacific Street, between Hyde and Larkin.
He began to work on the river steamers Eclipse and Chrysopolis, which operated on the Stockton and Sacramento routes. #58, p.6

Young, Benjamin
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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AfriGeneas ~ African Ancestored Genealogy