Ayuba Suleiman Diallo


Location: Annapolis, Maryland / Kent County, Maryland

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701-1773) was enslaved on a tobacco plantation near Annapolis Maryland. His portrait of was painted 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)


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“Two African Gentlemen in London.” Victoria and Albert Museum. Accessed 11/23/2016.

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, UK