Location: Annapolis, Maryland / Kent County, Maryland
The portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo was painted by by William Hoare of Bath in 1733 and hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.
“Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701-1773), known as Job Ben Soloman to American and European acquaintances, was born a son of the high priest of the Futa peoples in the West African state of Bundu at the mouth of the Gambia River. Diallo was a literate, young, Muslim merchant in 1731, when he and his interpreter were captured and sold into the Atlantic slave trade while traveling along the Gambia. Shipped to Annapolis, Maryland, Diallo spent two years there as a slave on a tobacco plantation. Following an attempted escape, Diallo was imprisoned in a Kent County courthouse some distance away from his plantation. There, Diallo was discovered by Thomas Bluett: an attorney, judge, and clergyman of the county. After Bluett returned him to his plantation, Diallo wrote a letter intended for his father, but instead it reached James Oglethorpe, the Director of the Royal African Company. Moved by this letter, Oglethorpe purchased Diallo’s freedom and paid for Diallo to travel across the Atlantic to stay with him in London.,,,” (Thomas Bluett)
Austin, Allan. African Muslims in Antebellum America. New York Garland Pub., 1984
Diouf, Sylviane, Servants of Allah : African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas. New York: University Press, 1998.
Nyang, Sulayman, Islam in the United States. ABC International Group, 1999.
“Thomas Bluett.” Documenting the American South: Primary Resources for the Study of Southern History, Literature and Culture) University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004. Accessed 11/23/2016.
“Two African Gentlemen in London.” Victoria and Albert Museum. Accessed 11/23/2016.
Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, UK