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Kiteredge, Peter (b. ca. 1750) to the selectmen of Medfield

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.702 Author/Creator: Kiteredge, Peter (b. ca. 1750) Place Written: Medfield, Massachusetts Type: Letter signed Date: 26 April 1806 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 24 x 19.5 cm.

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Summary of Content: Signed by Ebenezer Clark and Paul Hither as witnesses. Serves as the statement of Peter Kitteridge, a former slave. States that Kittredge (sometimes Kittredge or Kittridge) moved between Rowley and Andover, Massachusetts with the Kittredge family, "with whom, as was then the lot of my unfortunate race, I passed the best part of my life as a slave." Reports that he entered the military when he was twenty five (in 1775 or 6), serving for five years as a private. Following this service, he spent time as a sailor, and later as a laborer. States that he is inflicted with an illness "whereby the labour of my hands is wholly cut off, and with it the only means of my support." Requests assistance from Medfield's Selectmen in supporting his wife and four children, claiming that none of the children are old enough to aid him in supporting the family. States that though he is not a Medfield resident, he seeks the Selectmen's care as a stranger within their borders. Kittredge signs with an "x."

Background Information: Peter Kittredge was a slave in the household of the Kittredge family, from Andover, Massachusetts. Many of the Kittredges were physicians, and Dr. Thomas Kittredge served as surgeon for Colonel ...Frye's Regiment. During the War, Peter Kittredge served in Captain William H. Ballard's company, Colonel James Frye's regiment. See GLC09687 for Thomas Kittredge's military document during the American Revolutionary War. See More

Full Transcript: Gentlemen
I beg leave to state to you my necessitous circumstances, that through your intervention I may obtain that succour, which suffering humanity ever requires. Borne of African parents & as ...I apprehend in Boston, from whence while an infant I was removed to Rowley and from thence again to Andover into the family of Doct. [Thom] Kiteridge, with whom as was then the lot of my unfortunate race, I passed the best part of my life as a slave. [struck: At the age of twenty five] In the year of our Lord 1775 or 6 & in the twenty fifth of my age I entered into the service of the U.S. as a private soldier where I continued five years [inserted: and] where I contracted a complaint from which I have suffered in a greater or less degree ever since & with which I am now afflicted. After leaving the army to become a sailor for two years; when I quited the sea & resided for some time in Newtown, from whence I went to Natick where I remained for a short time & then removed to Dover where I [struck: remained] [inserted: carried] as a day labourer during the period of seven years. Eight years past I removed to the place where I now live, & have untill this time, by my labor, assisted by the kindness of the neighbouring inhabitants been enabled to support myself and family. At present having arrived [2] at the fifty eight year of my life and afflicted with severe and as I apprehend with incurable diseases whereby the labour of my hands is wholly cut off, and with it the only means of my support. - My family at this time consists of a wife and [struck: three] four children, three of whome are so young as to be unable to support themselves and the time of their mother [struck: has] is wholy occupied in taking cair [sic] of myself & our little ones - thus gentlemen, in this my extremity I am induced to call on you for assistance; not in the character of an inhabitant of the town of Westfield, for I have no such claim, but as a stranger accidently fallen within your borders, one who has not the means of subsistence, & in fact, one, who must fail through want & disease unless sustained by the fostering hand of your care.

I am Gentlemen your mos obedient, most humble servant.
Peter Kiteredge
His X Mark
Attent. Ebenezer Clark
Paul Hifner

To the policemen Selectmen of the
Town of Medfield.
Medfield 26 April 1806
Peter Kittridge
application -
To the gentlemen Select
[Men] of the Town of
Medfield -
See More

People: Kiteredge, Peter, b. ca. 1750
Kittredge, Peter
Kittridge, Peter
Clark, Ebenezer, fl. 1806
Hither, Paul, fl. 1806

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: SlaveryAfrican American HistoryMilitary HistoryRevolutionary WarNavyHealth and MedicalDiseaseGovernment and CivicsChildren and FamilyCharity and Philanthropy

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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