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date: 20 January 2020

Pennington, James William Charleslocked

(1807–22 October 1870)
  • Clifton H. Johnson


Pennington, James William Charles (1807–22 October 1870), clergyman and abolitionist, was born to slave parents, Nelly and Brazil, on the plantation of James Tilghman in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, and given the name James Pembroke. When James Tilghman died in 1809, young James and his mother and brother became the slaves of Tilghman’s eldest son, Frisby, and were moved to Rockland, Maryland. James became a skilled blacksmith before his escape in 1827. On his flight for freedom, he first settled in Adams County, Pennsylvania, in the home of Quakers William and Phebe Wright. William Wright taught him to read, write, and cipher. After about five months, afraid that he would be captured, he changed his name to Pennington and went north to Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he worked on the farm of another Quaker family and continued to educate himself....

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