London Hazard was a slave. Well, he was up until the Revolutionary War. During the time of the Revolutionary War, a man could pay a substitute to serve in his place. Most of the time, I’m not thinking that there is enough money to pay someone to risk their life, but there were surely a lot of men who were substitutes. In my family one man was a substitute for his father who was up in years.
In any case, more, much more, was at stake for London Hazard. If he lived through the war, he would obtain far more than his pay and a good story to tell his grandkids. He was earning his freedom. London Hazard served as a substitute for Samuel Hazard, a relative of his master, Godfrey Hazard. London was given his freedom after the war. He resided at South Kingston and was 53 yeas old, although it isn’t clear when this age was recorded. It could have been when he served, or later when he was perhaps filling out paperwork.
This record, although short, gives us absolutely critical information. First, it tells is that he was mixed African American and Indian. It tells us that his mother was a slave, regardless of his father’s status, because children were born into the status of their mother. It tells us how he obtained his surname and it tells is where he lived.
If he was 53 years old when he enlisted, about 1780, then he was born in 1727. This means that his parents, if one was a full blooded Indian, would have been born about 1700 or so. It was illegal after 1705 to import Indian slaves into Virginia, so his Indian ancestor was likely enslaved before that time.
There is lots of good information here for his descendants. I hope some of them are looking for him.
Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War