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Sado Ganges

Husband: Sado Ganges1-2

Person ID: GPIDS0720
Race: Black
Sex: Male2
Birth: 1787 in likely Africa; 8 year indenture term suggests this
YOB for males1-2
Marriage: no record located giving spouse's name or other marriage
Death: Aft. 1805 ; no death record identified, but living in Feb
1806 as per Robert Sutcliffe's Travels in North America.3
Burial: no burial record identified
Arrival: 04 Aug 1800 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; aboard
the Schooner Phoebe, Quarantine Station (The Old
Lazaretto), Fort Mifflin1-2, 4
Indenture: 01 Oct 1800 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; 8 year
term, as farmer to Samuel Painter, farmer, Chester
County; Painter signed a $400 bond.1-2
Occupation: 1800 in East Bradford, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA;
indenture training as a farmer1
Residence: Bet. 04 Aug-01 Oct 1800 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
USA; between arrival and indenture1-2
Residence: 01 Oct 1800 in East Bradford, Chester, Pennsylvania,
USA; Samuel Painter is described in the indenture as "of
Chester County"1
Residence: 19 Feb 1806 in East Bradford, Chester, Pennsylvania,
USA; placed in the home of Samuel and Martha Painter
by Robert Sutcliffe in Travels in North America. See notes
for full citation text.3
Religion: no church records identified
Land/Property: no land or property records identified
Military no military service identified
Estate: no estate, probate or will records identified
Sources For Sado Ganges' story3
Sado Ganges
It is unusual to find contemporaneous accounts of the First Ganges that
bring their lives out of the shadows. An exception is found in Robert
Sutcliffe's Travels in some parts of North America , in the years 1804, 1805,
& 1806. Sutcliffe, an English Quaker, spent considerable time at the turn of
the 19th century, including visit to Quaker meetings throughout the country,
including an extended stay in Chester County in February, 1806. This entry,
dated the 2d Month [February], 19th, tells the story of Sado Ganges. Not
only does it provide a rare example where the "voice" of the First Ganges is
heard near the time of their enslavement and rescue, but is one of the few
sources that suggests there were family relationships among them.

While in this family [Samuel Painter’s], I could not avoid noticing the
innocence and simplicity of a little Negro boy, named Sado ; and on my
making some inquiry, Martha Painter gave an account to the following
effect: Importing Negro slaves from the coast of Africa, is contrary to the
laws of the United States, notwithstanding some of the Southern States
allow the keeping of slaves, and it sometimes happens that an American
ship is detected transgressing the law, in which case both ship and cargo
are confiscated. Not long since, two American ships with cargoes of slaves
were seized by a frigate belonging to the United States, and brought to the
Port of Philadelphia, where they were both condemned; but the poor black
people on board were put under the care of the Society instituted for the
Abolition of the Slave Trade, and were all provided with places as servants
or apprentices. Amongst the latter was little Sado, who was put out to S. P.
[Samuel Painter] Although he was treated with the greatest tenderness, yet
he was often seen weeping at the recollection of his near connexions. He
said, that himself and sister were on a visit at a relation's, and that, after the
family had retired to rest, they were suddenly alarmed, in the dead of the
night, by a company of Man-stealers breaking into their habitation. They
were all carried off towards the sea, where they arrived at the end of three
days, and were confined until the vessel sailed. Sado's sister was placed in
a situation near S. P.'s, which afforded them frequent opportunities of
seeing each other. Not long after this Negro boy had been brought into S.
P.'s family, he was taken ill of a bad fever; and, for a time, there appeared
but little hopes of his recovery, although the best medical help was
obtained, and every kindness and attention was shewn to him. While he
and every kindness and attention was shewn to him. While he
laid in this state, M. P. [Martha Painter] inquired of him, if there was
anything he wished to have, or if there was anything she could do for him;
as they desired to do everything in their power to relieve him. In reply, he
expressed his thankfulness for their good intentions, but said, "There was
nothing they could do that would cure him; yet if he was at home with his
mother, she would soon make him well ; adding that " there was a plant
grew in his country, the leaves of which she gathered, and pouring hot
water upon them, covered his body all over with them, and it always soon
made him well." Martha desired him to describe the plant, and they would
endeavour to procure it. He replied, "It was not to be had in this country, for
he had often looked for it in vain."

There being now scarcely any prospect of his recovery, his mistress was
desirous of administer-ing some religious consolation, and observed to him,
as he had always been a very good boy, she had no doubt that if he died at
this time, his spirit would be admitted into, a place of everlasting rest and
peace. On hearing this, he quickly replied, "I know that if I die I shall be
happy; for as soon as my body is dead, my spirit will fly away to my father
and mother, and sisters and brothers, in Africa." The boy recovered. His
good conduct had gained him the favour and respect of the whole family,
and I have no doubt that the care bestowed upon his education, will, in due
time, afford him a brighter prospect of a future state, than that of returning
to Africa.

Version 1.0 15 Feb 2020 Created with Family Tree Maker 2017
1 Indenture from Sado Ganges to Samuel Painter, Box 2 Folder 22.
Indenture term is for 8 years, suggests a date of birth of 1787. Alll
indentures for Ganges males were for 4 years or to age 21,
whichever came first. Skills to be taught: farming.and three
quarters day schooling.; "Papers, Series IV. Manumissions,
indentures, and other legal papers", Pennsylvania Abolition
Society, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Sources: (cont.)
2 Indenture book D 1795-1835 , AmS .061, folios 50L and 54R.
Sado Ganges indentured to Samuel Painter1 Oct 1800 for a term
of 8 years.; "Papers, Series IV. Manumissions, indentures, and
other legal papers", Pennsylvania Abolition Society, Historical
Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
3 Travels in some parts of North America , in the years 1804, 1805,
& 1806, Robert Sutcliffe (1811), pages 204-206.; digital scan,
Internet Archive (
4 5 Aug 1800, Issue 7373, Page 3, accessed 8 July 2018,
Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, online images (

Prepared By:
Preparer: Michael Kearney Address: The Ganges Families History Project
Email: ©2019, 2020 Michael Kearney

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