Sunday, February 18, 2018

Historical Trail


One of my "cloistered brothers" was telling me about a possible ancestor of his.  I was curious.  So I googled.  My "cloistered brother" is black and I was searching for a black woman who started a school for black children around 1800.

Actually, she was easy to find because she was on television news a few days ago.  Evidentally, there is a proposal to put up a monument to her.  I am talking about Dinah Whipple.  She married Prince Whipple at age 21 in 1781.  Dinah was an avid reader and evidently loved learning.  She held classes in her home, which is credited to be the first school for black children in New Hampshire. 

Laudable as this is, what interested me more, was her husband, Prince.  He was a slave and his owner was named William Whipple.  As Mr. Whipple's property, he also was called Whipple.  For his first name, he was given the name Prince.  It seems that slaves were given names like King, Ceasar, etc.  The times are the beginning of our country and William Whipple was in the thick of it.  When the Revolutionary War broke out, William Whipple was a colonel in the First New Hampshire Regiment.  Prince accompanied him.  Tradition even has Prince Whipple rowing the boat that took Washington across the Delaware. This is doubtful because Colonel Whipple was attending Congress in Philadelphia and Prince Whipple would have been with him.  But there is a black man rowing Washington's boat.  Is that because the artist wanted to represent all men who were fighting?

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