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Wentworth Cheswell- African American Founding Father

Written By: Tim George  |  Posted: Monday, March 5th, 2012

            Wentworth Cheswell was the grandson of black slave, Richard Cheswell, who gained his freedom in 1717 and became the first black man to be a property owner in New Hampshire. Wentworth's father was a house wright who was distinguished for building the homes of several of the patriot leaders, including John Paul Jones and the Rev. Samuel Langdon.

            In 1763, Wentworth attended the Dummer Academy, which was located thirty miles away from his home of Newmarket in Byfield, Massachusetts. In the colonial era, few people were formally educated due to cost and the lack of inexpensive public schooling. However, his father's financial status allowed him to guarantee Wentworth the finest education available at the time. During Wentworth's education he studied reading, writing, and arithmetic, Latin, Greek, swimming, and horsemanship.

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