James Forten powder boy Abolitionist -Business man -Patriot Hero   (1766-1842)

James was born free in Philadelphia on September 2, 1776. As a boy James loved going to the Delaware River docks where his father worked on the ships sails. When James was seven his father fell to his death while working on a ships sails. James still loved sailing ships. At the tender age of 14, James quit school and signed up to serve in the navy to fight for his country .  He served on the Royal Louis where he help load the cannons, a powder boy in the American navy at 15, a foreman in a sail loft at twenty. Within 20 years after being made foreman in the sail loft, Forten was its owner employing white and black people. Amassing over $100.000 from business. (Today's  money about $100.000.000 from business). His loyalty to his country was unquestioned , during the war of 1812 he personally recruited 2,500 Black men to guard Philadelphia when the city was threatened by the British soldiers. James opposition to slavery and colonization was implacable and unbending, he threw his great energy , shrewdness  and his money into the struggle for rights of free black men. The most important aspect of James Forten  life was he was born free. FREEDOM MENT NOTHING TO HIM UNLESS WE ALL WERE FREE. James Forten, a true hero for his people.                     (Menu Link)             (Home Page Link)

James Forten