A Rhode Island group has purchased a priceless piece of history.
The letter was written by Newport Gardner, a slave who was purchased and renamed by a local ship captain in 1760. It was addressed to his niece and it contained religious observations and updates about relatives. According to the Newport Daily News, Gardner led the Free African Union Society, believed to be the first association of African-Americans in the country. Gardner was also the country’s first Black music teacher.
Thirty-one years later after he was purchased, in 1791, Gardner won the lottery and used the proceeds to buy his freedom.
The letter was purchased by the Historical Society from an unidentified out-of-state collector. They are now raising money to preserve the artifact.
BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world.
(Photo: Courtesy NEWPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY)