A Chronology of Moses Roper's Life
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_roper .
The first column is the page number in the book that Moses wrote about his life. They mary or may not be what really hapened.
Page # Date Event
9 c1815 Born in Caswell County, NC to Henry Roper and Nancy, his slave. (Nancy is part African-American and part American Indian.)
c1815 Father's wife tried to kill him with a knife and club, but his mother's mother caught the knife and saved him.
10 c1815 Father sold or exchanged him and his mother probably with one of his wife's brothers or sisters.
c1821 Moses was living with his father's wife's brother-in-law Mr. Durham when mother's old master (father's wife's father) died. The slaves were divided by drawing lots. Mother went to Mr. Durham and Moses went to Mr. Fowler.
11 c1821 Moses was sold to a slave trader, Mr. Michael, who took Moses to "the southern states." (He was difficult to sell because he was "so much whiter than the other slaves.") Left for about a year with a Mr. Sneed in Washington GA to wait table at a boarding house.
12 c1822 Mr. Sneed retrieved Moses and sold him to Dr. Jones in Lancaster SC to mix medicines. Then he was "sent" to learn the tailor's trade with Mr. Bryant, but did domestic chores.
c1822 Sold to Mr. Allen at Camden SC. Then he was traded for a female slave to Mr. Cooper and Mr. Linsey. (Had trouble selling him because of "my being rather white." Mr. Allen took him to Fayetteville NC and traded him for a "blacker" boy to Mr. Smith.
13 c1827 Sold to Mr. Hodge, a slave trader. "Here I began to enter into hardships."
14 c1829 Sold to Mr. Gooch at Liberty Hill, Kershaw County SC, a cotton planter, for his son-in-law Mr. Hammons. He was flogged daily.
15 c1829 Moses made his first attempt to escape slavery, was caught and put in Lancaster SC jail.
c1829 Moses, "having determined from my youth to gain my freedom...made several more attempts, was caught and got a severe flogging of one hundred lases each time." Mrs. Hammons "used to tie me up and flog me while naked."
Back to top of this page.
16 c1830 Moses was traded back to Mr. Gooch for some land. He was chained by the neck to a chaise and taken to MacDaniel;s Ferry in Chester County SC, and was made to cut trees in a swamp in leg irons. He was flogged several times. He got the leg irons off and escaped across the Catawba River in a canoe. He found no food in the wilderness and was captured when he begged for food at a house.
17 c1830 A 25-lb chain was put around his neck. He escaped again and got the chain off with a rock and a piece of iron. Mr. Ballard, a brother-in-law of Mr. Hammon's found him and returned him to Mr. Gooch, where he was severely flogged and chained at night with a 40-lb chain.
28-31 c1831 Escaped to Mechlenburg County NC. A Mr. Crawford there was convinced by his wife that Moses was not "of African origin," even though his hair was "curly and woolly." He traveled around Charlotte NC to Salisbury NC and on to Caswell County NC, the place of his birth. At Ikeo Creek he found his six-year-old half sister, Marie, who took him to his mother's house.
37 c1831 A week later he was captured there and put in the Caswell County jail. The jailer's wife was Moses' father's wife's cousin. His grandmother came almost every day to bring him food.
40-43 c1831 Mr. Gooch send his son-in-law, Mr. Anderson, to take Moses back to Mr. Gooch in Kershaw County SC. Moses tried to escape on the way back bu running his horse into the woods. He was severely flogged and was chained to a female slave. They tried to escape together and again canoed across the Catawba River. Moses was caught and put in Lancaster County SC jail again.
46 c1831 Again Mr. Gooch sent his son-in-law, Mr. Anderson, to get Moses. He was again flogged and chained.
48 c1832 Moses again escaped into NC. He was captured by a Mr. Robinson and taken back to Mr. Gooch for a reward. Mr. Gooch poured tar on Moses and set it on fire, but put it out quickly.
49 c1832 Moses escaped again. Another slave helped him get the irons off. He was caught and put in Charlotte NC prison. Mr. Gooch came and took him back to Chester County SC. He squeezed Moses finger nails off and smashed his toe nails.
50 c1832 Moses escaped again, but was caught a mile away and received "the worst flogging I ever had" by other slaves.
53 c1832 Moses was sold by Mr. Gooch to Mr Britton, who then sold him to a slave drover, Mr. Marcus Rowland, at Union Courthouse SC. Mose was the slave dresser for Mr. Rowland.
c1832 Moses was traded to Mr David Goodley for a female slave in Greenville SC. Mr. Goodley traded him to Mr. Marvel Louis as a domestic slave.
Back to top of this page.
57 c1833 Mr. Louis took Moses to Columbus GA and left him with Mr. Kemp, a lawyer and member of the State Assembly, to care for his horses and carriage. Mr. Louis died in Cuba, so Mr. Kemp illegally sold Moses at auction to Mr Beveridge, a Scotchman from Appalachicola FL, who took Moses to Marianna FL.
c1834 Moses was steward on Mr. Beveridge's steamboat Versailles. Mr. Beveridge died and Mr. Register acquired Moses.
60 c1834 Moses escaped and canoed across the Chapoli River and then crossed the Chattachoochee River on the Georgia border by boat.
69 c1834 He went on to Savannah GA. He was 6'2" tall and called himself John Roper in a bogus passport.
70 c1834 Moses sailed from Savannah GA to New York City NY on the schooner Fox with Capt. Deckay. He was badly treated by the sailors.
c1834 Learning he was in danger of capture in NYC, Moses went to the country side for a while, but came back to NYC and sailed on the Fox up the Hudson River to Poughkeepsie NY.
78 c1834 After a bout of sickness he took a steamboat to Albany NY. He became a steward on a western canal boat. Then he went up the northern canal to Vermont.
c1834 Moses got a job in Sudbury VT and attended the Methodist Chapel where Mr. Benton preached.
c1834 Then he went to Ludlow ME, where he saw a newspaper ad for his capture and return to South Carolina.
c1834 Then he went to New Hampshire, but did not feel safe there, so he went to Boston MA.
c1835 Moses shaved his head and bought a wig. He worked for Mr. Perkins in Brookline MA. He had a bogus document made in Brookline that referred to him as "Moses Roper."
c1835 Moses returned to Boston, where he "attended at the colored church in Bellnap Street... After a time I found that slave owners were in the habit of going to the colored chapel to look for runaway slave." He attended the preaching of Rev. D. Sharp. (Bellnap Street is Belknap Street, which name was later changed to Joy Street, where the African Meeting House is located.)
Back to top of this page.
c1835 He heard of men looking for him, so he went into the Green Mountains and then back to New York City. (There is only one Roper in the Boston city directory for 1834-5, a John Roper near the docks at the rear of a house on 5th Street. This may be Moses, because he carried with him a recommendation that named him "John Roper.")
83 c1835 On 11 November 1835 he sailed on the ship Napolean to England. The ship docked in Liverpool on 29 November 1835. Dr. Raffles helped him there.
c1835 Moses went to Manchester, where Mr. Adshead helped him. He went to London on 12 December 1835, where Mr. Scoble secured him lodging.
c1835 A Mr. Christopherson "has been towards me as a parent." Moses went to school at Hackney for half a year. He became a member of Dr. F. A. Cox's church.
1836 Document in Christopherson book by Moses Roper
c1839 Moses married Ann Stephen Price (age 20; daughter of William Price and Elizabeth Stephen) at St. James Church in Bristol, England on 21 December 1839.
c1844 Moses moved to Nova Scotia Canada in 1844. One daughter was born while enroute on the Atlantic Ocean. Three more daughters were born in Nova Scotia. Many of his descendants live in Australia.
c1846 Moses briefly returned to England in 1846 "to settke some private matters" and in 1854 to lecture.

Moses was in Deux Montagnes county, Quebec, Canada in the 1851 census (line 13)

Census record of Moses Roper in West Barnwell, Cambridge, England in 1861:

Moses was apparently away from his family in Wales while lecturing on slavery at Cambridge.
1861 Census record of Ann S. Roper in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales in 1861 census:

The Sun of New York City (17 April 1891, p.8,col. 5):

“Moses ROPER died at the City Hospital in Boston on Wednesday.  He was born a slave in Caswell, N.C.  When he was quite young he escaped from bondage and went to England where he was educated.  In after years he became a lecturer, and travelled all over the world lecturing.  Recently Mr. ROPER left the lecture field, and was working for a man at Strong, Me. [Maine], but becoming ill, was sent to Boston.  He was found at the depot on Saturday, accompanied by a dog.  After the old man’s death the dog found the mattress upon which he died, lay down upon it, and refused to leave it.  One of the hospital doctors has taken charge of the faithful beast.”

Back to top of this page.