1787 - 1861
Enslaved person living and working on Unity Valley Pen (St Ann), Jamaica. Manumitted in 1795 by David Barclay (q.v.) and removed to Philadelphia, with 29 other freed persons from the estate, where placed under the care of Society for Improving the Condition of Free Blacks.
October was 8 at the time of his manumission and listed as 'native of Jamaica'. Upon arriving in Philadelphia he was apprenticed as a Windsor Chair Maker for 13 years, taught to read and write and given 'freedom dues'. He was listed as having the 'alias Robert Barclay'. In 1801 Barclay wrote an account of the emancipation and the fortunes of the former enslaved now living in Philadelphia; October was still apprenticed as a chair maker. He died in Philadelphia in 1861.
David Barclay, An account of the emancipation of the slaves of Unity Valley Pen Jamaica (London, 1801). Available through Googlebooks: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FuRbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA6&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
We are grateful to Keith Stokes for his help compiling this entry.
The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:
1787 [SY] - 1795 [EY] → Enslaved
Pen owner David Barclay order manumission 1795.
Enslaved-manumitted → Previous owner
David Barclay order manumission...