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African American woman ironing

Interpretation of domestic slave duties.

AGGY also known as GREAT AGGY

  • Born ca. 1735
  • Place of birth unknown
  • Possibly born to one of Benjamin Harrison's slaves at Berkeley or another Harrison property in Virginia
  • Brothers and/or sisters unknown
  • One of 27 domestic slaves belonging to Peyton and Elizabeth Randolph
  • Education unknown
  • Spouse unknown (slave marriages not legal)
  • Resided on Randolph property
  • Children
    • Little Aggy (described as a mulatto; mother to Beysey, Nathan, Kitty)
    • Secordia (idenitified as sickly, died between 1775 and 1783)
    • Henry
  • Died after 1780

Ran away from Randolph household following Dunmore proclamation

In 1775, Virginia Governor Dunmore issued a proclamation that offered freedom to all indentured servants and slaves willing to run away from their masters and fight for the British. More than 200 Virginia slaves ran away shortly after the proclamation was issued. Eight slaves from the Peyton Randolph household ran to the British. They were Aggy, Eve, Lucy, Billy, Sam, George, Henry, and Peter. By July 1776, half of the eight had returned, probably because of an outbreak of smallpox in Dunmore's camp.

Family members divided

Elizabeth Randolph eventually bequeathed Aggy and her son Henry to her niece Elizabeth Rickman. She bequeathed little Aggy and her children Nathan and Betsey to her nephew Benjamin Harrison of Berkeley. Little Aggy's daughter Kitty was bequeathed to another niece named Elizabeth Harrison.

Learn more:

Introduction to Colonial African American Life
Peyton Randolph
Elizabeth Randolph
Dunmore's proclamation