Richard Pierpoint's Life

By: Malek Abdel-Shehid


Richard Pierpoint's birth


His first name is unknown and there are no surviving records of it. He was born in the African Kingdom of Bondu, Senegambia, West Africa. He was most likely of the Fulani Tribe, however could have been part of the Wolof Tribe or the Mandinke Tribe. He was also probably Moslem and possibly knew how to read and write.

Richard Pierpoint's early life

1744 - 1762

His people were very skilled at agriculture. As well as great merchants and herders. His people were intelligent, but greed and selfishness caused many battles between the local tribes.

Richard Pierpoint's entry into slavery


At age 18 he was captured and became a slave along with 60% of this era's African population. They walked to the Gambia River and were shipped down to James Fort, in proximity to the ocean. Here he was branded and became part of the Royal African Company. He is now an object, no longer with his own life.


Life at sea


Life at sea was bitter and difficult. The trip could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months at sea. Through the whole journey he was attached to others never relieved of their bond. Their cramped holding cell smelt of many human disgusting bodily fluids. 15% of the people stolen from their lives died on the journey across. Very many of them wished to die because of their "situation", however Pierpoint kept going through everything.


Bit of life in Barbados


Here he was cleaned up and fed to be presentable in the slave markets. Slave owners liked young, strong workers for their plantations.

United States of America

Slave Market


He was put on display to be bought in New England, United States of America. Wherever he was bought, he now belonged to a British soldier, named Richard Pierpoint.

Slave life

1763 - 1783

Thousands and thousands of people were ripped away from their lives to be slaves on plantations for countless hours without proper rest or care. This was inhumane, but the slave owners did not care. They only cared about profit. There were also white slaves. These slaves were cared for more nicely though. Many activists sought equality, however this was only equality for all white men. This made slaves' lives extremely difficult.


Richard Pierpoint Butler's Rangers to fight in American Revolutionary War


He turned up 20 years after becoming a slave in Fort Niagara. He now had two other names; Captain Dick and Pawpine. His part of the British Army often included Native Americans. He was now fighting in the American Revolutionary War. He was a fierce and tough soldier on the battlefield.

Leaving the Army

July 1784

At age 36, he left the army and disappeared again for 4 years.

Later life

1788 - January 1791

Now a veteran he was given a 200-acre piece of the land near St. Catherines, Ontario. He worked for three years clearing his land to make it farmland. In 1791, he sold part of his land. Canada more African friendly than the United States of America, however it was still tough for all Africans.

Pierpoint's Request


He and other African-Canadians ask for a piece of land from the Governor separate from white settlers. That Governor refused and in 1806 the next Governor erased all records of him helping him in the war. Presumably because of his race.

Corps of Coloured Men and re-entry into the Army

1812 - 1815

This time he joined the Army, he was sixty-eight years old. He wanted to lead a group of Coloured Men, the British denied this request. However, when a white man named Runchey agreed to lead, the British accepted. He was part of much of the war. After the war, no piece of land changed ownership. In 1815, the Corps of Coloured Men was disbanded.

Old age

1821 - 1837

On July 21, he asked the Lieutenant Governor to be returened to his homeland. Again denied. He was simply given a piece of land. In 4 years, he cleared the land and built a house. At 93 years old he died, alone.