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 Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman

Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman

Birth
Claverack, Columbia County, New York, USA
Death 28 Dec 1829 (aged 84–85)
Stockbridge, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Stockbridge, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 16476373 · View Source
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Civil Rights Figure. A slave in the house of Colonel John Ashley, she fought for and won her freedom after she heard her master's friends discussing the newly ratified Massachusetts constitution that proclaimed all men free and equal. The 1781 case of "Brom and Bett vs. Ashley" was decided in favor of her and Brom, a male slave, and they were freed. She became a housekeeper in the employ of Theodore Sedgwick, her attorney. When she retired she was able to buy a home of her own. One of her great-grandchildren was W.E.B. Dubois. In her eulogy, the words of Sedgwick's daughter, Catherine, sum up her life: "Her supposed age was 85 years. She was born a slave and remained a slave for nearly thirty years. She could neither read nor write yet in her own sphere she had no superior nor equal. She neither wasted time nor property. She never violated a trust nor failed to perform a duty. In every situation of domestic trial she was the most efficient helper, and the tenderest friend. Good Mother, farewell. Catharine Maria Sedgwick."

Bio by: Jan Franco



Inscription

ELIZABETH FREEMAN
known by the name of
MUMBET
died Dec. 28' 1829.
Her supposed age
was 85 Years.
She was born a slave and
remained a slave for nearly
thirty years. She could nei
ther read nor write, yet in
her own sphere she had no
superior nor equal. She nei-
ther wasted time nor property
She never violated a trust, nor
failed to perform a duty.
In every situation of domes-
tic trial, she was the most effi-
cient helper, and the tenderest
friend. Good Mother, farewell.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Jan Franco
  • Added: 5 Nov 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16476373
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman (1744–28 Dec 1829), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16476373, citing Stockbridge Cemetery, Stockbridge, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .