Thoughts on War

Peter Southall - Runaway slave Back
Peter Southall - Runaway slave
Peter Southall was an enslaved man who ran away from his owner to fight for the British and win his freedom.

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"Lord, it's a long way to Norfolk, coming from Williamsburg. Peter be my name. Wish Master Southall could see me now. Betcha he ain't never think I was gonna run off again. Oh, yes, I done run off before. Run off down there to that North Carolina. Was down there for four years. Awful fine it was.

But look at me nowÉmaking my way to Norfolk. I gots to thank the Governor himself, he put this proclamation, declare marshal law, he did. Said any Negro, any of the minions, any of us, if they got themselves a rebel master, they run off join the British, they get their freedom, they will.

I gots to get my freedom. Freedom is too sweet. I reckon soon as I get to this here Norfolk, I'll get myself a musket. Gowan, he say one thing before I leave. He question me if I was willing to take a musket and fire at another one of God's creations. Something about that just don't settle right with me.

What do settle right is that I get my freedom. Not just freedom for myself, but freedom so I can go get my Sarah. Freedom for me and my family."

        Richard Josey is managing interpreter of historic events and interprets
                 the character of Peter Southall and other characters for Colonial Williamsburg.


See Dunmore's Proclamation: A Time to Choose