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The 1729 birth of Ignatius Sancho, a Black writer, is celebrated on this date.
He was born on a slave ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean from the West African nation of Guinea. After the ship reached the Caribbean port of Cartagena, in what is now Colombia, his mother died and his father committed suicide.
He was baptized “Ignatius.” After several years, Sancho was taken to Greenwich, England, where he was given to three unmarried women. They gave him the surname “Sancho” because he reminded them of the squire in Don Quixote. He later ran away and became butler to the Duchess of Montagu. Sancho later operated a grocery store in Westminster. Self educated, he composed music, appeared on the stage, and wrote numerous letters that were published in 1782, after his death. Ignatius Sancho died in 1780.
Joseph Jekyll's Life of Ignatius Sancho