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Samuel “Sambo” Anderson was a slave owned by George Washington who remained loyal to the end. On February 20, 1845, Anderson died at the approximate age of 100.

Anderson’s birth date, like many enslaved Africans, is not known. According to accounts and other lore, Anderson, who hailed from the region now known as Guinea, claimed to be of royal heritage prior to being enslaved. Washington purchased Anderson in the 1750s, enlisting him among several craftsmen to work at his Mount Vernon, Va. home.

Anderson married another slave on the grounds, Agnes, and the pair went on to have six children although he legally couldn’t live with the family. Still, Anderson cared for them as best he could and lived nearby. When Washington died in 1799, many Mount Vernon slaves went free except for Agnes, who was considered the property of Washington’s wife.

Working diligently to purchase their freedom, Anderson earned enough to free a daughter, her children, and other relatives. In the 1830s, Anderson and several of his family members returned to Mount Vernon to build a new tomb for his former master.

Although accounts vary, the derogatory term “sambo” does not stem from Anderson and was simply a nickname.

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One thought on “Little Known Black History Fact: Samuel ‘Sambo’ Anderson

  1. MARCELINA WILLIAMS on said:

    So disappointed with “BLACK PANTHER” Chadwick. He NOT as black as I thought. WHY? So many of y’all make it in life then run right into the arms of the other. WHY? TOTALLY DISTURBED…DISAPPOINTED. If you didn’t know Smollett was lying something’s wrong with you. From the time I saw him in the ER and him telling his story I KNEW HE WAS LYING. What Mike Wallace did should have been enough, but I guess Smollett missed that email. WHY DUDE? Ppl in the LGBTQ community has enough bashing problems as well as other issues than for you to out right LIE. Not a very good one might I add. All I can say is PRAYER. YOU ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF PRAYER IN SO MANY WAYS. GOOD LUCK DUDE. TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR.

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