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Sat, 02.02.1732

Cyrus Bustill, Abolitionist born

Cyrus Bustill

*Cyrus Bustill was born on this date in 1732. He was a Black brewer and baker, abolitionist, and community leader.

Born in Burlington, New Jersey, Cyrus Bustill was the son of white Quaker lawyer Samuel Bustill and Parthenia, an African woman who was a slave owned by Samuel. After Samuel Bustill died, his widow sold Cyrus Bustill to fellow Quaker Thomas Prior with the understanding that Prior would allow Cyrus to purchase his freedom.

He was one of the 104 enslaved Africans described in records of the Burlington Quarterly Meeting of Friends as having been freed by Quakers. By 1791, Bustill was recorded as owning twelve acres in the Black settlement of Guineatown between the Abington and Cheltenham townships in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Cyrus Bustill married Elizabeth Morey, a woman of Native American and European descent.

Their children include Grace Douglass, David Bowser Bustill, and Mary Bustill. Considered the founder of the prominent Bustill family, his descendants include Paul RobesonDavid Bustill BowserSarah Mapps Douglass, Robert Douglass Jr., and Gertrude Bustill Mossell.

Cyrus Bustill, a founding member of the Free African Society, died in 1806. His grave is located at the Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, Pennsylvania.

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