Salih Bilali

salih2  fula_jihad_states_map_general_c1830
(The above image is an artist’s rendering of a Hausa man, said to resemble Salih Bilai. Image from African Muslims in Antebellum America.)  The Fulani Jihad States of West Africa, c. c.1830

Location:  St. Simons Island, Georgia

“Salih Bilali was an enslaved African Muslim man who was born in Massina in what is modern Mali in the 1770s and lived much of his life in coastal Georgia in the United States. Salih Bilali was an ethnic Fula, like many other enslaved Muslims in the Americas. After being captured into slavery when he was around twelve years old, Salih Bilali lived and labored in the Bahamas. From there, he was purchased by the Couper family of St. Simons Island, Georgia. There he eventually rose to an important position in the plantation hierarchy…” (Salih Bilali of Massina)


Curtin, Philip.  Africa Remembered. Narratives By West Africans from the Era of the Slave Trade. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1967

Diouf, Sylviane.  Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas. New York : New York University Press, 1998.

Salih Bilali of Massina.  Slavery and ‘Remembrance: A Guide to Sites, Museums and Memory. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 2016. Accessed 12/27/ 16.

Map of Massina, Mali, By Original uploader was T L Miles at en.wikipedia – Transfered from en.wikipedia, Public Domain,

Salih Bilali. “Arabs in America.” University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill