Montiers: From Slavery to Paul Robeson and Beyond – An African-American Family’s Interracial Roots to Philadelphia’s Colonial Past

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Category: Humanities

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Casemate

ISBN: 9781955041041

RRP: $47.99


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The story of the African-American Montier family traces its roots to Philadelphia’s first mayor, the White Quaker Humphrey Morrey, appointed c. 1691. Richard, the son of the mayor, had a relationship with Cremona, a former slave of the wealthy Morrey family, and the couple had five children. One of their children, also named Cremona, married John Montier, a black man of Caribbean heritage, and the couple built a residence that still stands today on Limekiln Pike in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Although Richard Morrey had two other matrimonial relationships, he passed to Cremona 200 acres of land near where Arcadia University of Glenside is situated today. A small Black town known as Guineatown developed on Cremona Morrey’s land, with an associated cemetery. Members and descendants of the Montier family included Cyrus Bustill, a black activist and baker who made bread for George Washington’s Continental Army, and David Bustill Bowser, an activist during the nineteenth century and Civil War who designed and created the colors for eleven African American regiments at Camp William Penn. More recent descendants include the great Paul Robeson, a renowned African-American scholar, lawyer, diplomat, athlete, singer, and actor, and William Pickens, Sr., a co-founder of the NAACP. The book will also trace modern descendants of the family. AUTHOR: Don Ogbewii Scott is a 1977 graduate of Cheyney University and 1990 graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and lives in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania. Scott has written two books about Camp William Penn, as well as many articles about the Montiers for publications like America’s Civil War Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, England’s National Archives Magazine, and more. He has contributed to major Black-history book projects for the Oxford University Press and Houghton Mifflin. His lectures have been televised statewide and he’s delivered live Black-history segments on WURD 900 AM, as well as appeared on television’s PBS-WHYY, WPVI-ABC and PCN. 20 illustrations

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