Peter Ganges aka “Guinea Pete” Longstreth

PETER GANGES (GPIDS0500)

Aka PETER “GUINEA PETE” LONGSTRETH

Migrations/Residences: Arr. Philadelphia, Penna., 6 Aug. 1800[1] as a captive aboard the schooner Prudent[2]; 1800; Southampton Township, Bucks County, Penna.[3]; 1808; Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna.[4]; 1812; Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna.[5]; 1819; Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna.[6]; 1820; Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna.[7]; 1830; Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna.[8]; 1840; Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna.[9]; 1848; Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna.[10];

Parentage/Family: Unknown

Birth/Baptism:  between 1746  and  1779,  Guinea,  Africa [11]
Death/Burial:  d., 23 Sep. 1848, Bensalem Twp., Bucks  County,  Penna.[12] Burial  location unknown.
Married:  before 1812, probably Bucks County, Penna.[13]
Bride: Mary
Parentage/Family:  Unknown
Birth/Baptism:  Unknown
Death/Burial:  probably before 1845 [14]

Note that Mary was not Peter’s first wife. His obituary states that he left a wife and family in Africa after his capture.[15]

Land/Property:  owned property in Bensalem, Bucks County,  Penna.  [16]
Institutions:  none locatedCommunity:  no church records located.
Military: no military service identified.
Occupation: Farmer[17]
Estate: Peter Longstreth left a will, dated 22 April 1845. [18]
Children: probably by wife Mary, all named in his will: [19]

  1. Catherine Ann Longstreth (1812–) m Ganges
  2. George Longstreth (1815–)
  3. Peter Longstreth
  4. Christiana Longstreth m Wilson
  5. Giborah Longstreth m Hambleton
  6. Harriet Longstreth m Clark

Indenture:[20]

Date: 1 Sep. 1800
Term: 4 y.
Skills taught: Farming; endeavor to teach Peter to read and write.
Compensation: $15 upon indenture completion, 2 suits of clothing, one new.
Master/Mistress  Joseph Longstreth (–)
Residences:  Southampton Township, Bucks County, Penna.
Parentage/Family:
Birth/Baptism:
Death/Burial:
Community: 

Commentary:   

Peter (“Guinea Pete”) Longstreth’s obituary was widely published at the time of his death, all closely following the transcription given here in National Antislavery Standard:

In Bensalem, Bucks county, on the 23d ult. PETER LONGSTRETH, familiarly known as “Guinea Pete,” aged 102 years. Peter was native of Africa, and had a wife and children there. Being a trader he went on board a French ship to buy goods, and was detained and carried off for a slave. He was first taken to France, and on the voyage from thence to the West Indies, the ship was taken by Commodore Decatur and carried into Philadelphia where he, and the rest of the cargo, were placed out mostly among the society of Friends to acquire the language and habits of the country. Peter was taken by the Longstreth family in Warminster, Bucks county, and after staying some time, went to work for himself married another wife, and by industry soon acquired sufficient means to purchase a house and lot, on which he resided most of the remaining part of his life. Although he could speak the Arabic fluently, yet he never acquired sufficient of the English language to enable him to express his ideas with facility, or to be easily understood.

Source: National Anti­Slavery Standard, October 12, 1848, pg. 79.[21]

The details agree very well the documentary record given  here and allow us to say with some assurance that Peter Longstreth and Peter Ganges are one and the same man. The circumstances of his capture, release and indenture to the Longstreths all fit, save for giving Commodore Stephen Decatur the military credit instead of Capt.  Mullowney.

[1]. The first newspaper reports of the arrival of the Prudent  were dated August 7, 1800. See for example, The Philadelphia Gazette of the United States and Daily Advertiser, Vol XVII, No. 3669, 7 August 1800, p. 3.

[2] Indenture Book D, Papers of the Abolition Society, HSP, Collection 490, Series IV, p. 47.

[3] Indenture from Peter Ganges to Joseph Longstreth, Papers of the Abolition Society, HSP, Collection 490, Series IV, Box 2 Folder 14.

[4]1808 Tax Roll for Bensalem Twp. in Bucks County, Penna. Tax Rolls 1782-1860 (ancestry.com). Peter Longstreth is identified as black.

[5] Deed William Wilson to Peter Longstreth (a black man), both of Bensalem,  dated 1 Apr 1812, Buck County Deeds, 40:599 (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSF1-5QV?i=272&cat=244488 , accessed 20 Feb 2019)

[6] Deed Peter Longstreth and his wife Mary to Daniel Neale, all of Bensalem,  dated 13 Oct. 1819, Bucks County Deeds, 47:454.  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSN2-6SW6-P?i=616&cat=244488  , accessed 20 Feb 2019).

[7] 1820 United States Manuscript Census, Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna. (page 3 of 8 for Bensalem).

[8] 1830 United States Manuscript Census, Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna. p. 198.

[9] 1840 United States Manuscript Census, Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Penna. p. 296.

[10] Death of Guinea Pete, Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper 11 Oct 1848.

[11] Indenture from Peter Ganges to Joseph Longstreth, Papers of the Abolition Society, HSP, Collection 490, Series IV, Box 2 Folder 14. The indenture gives Peter’s age as 21 in 1800. Peter’s 1848 obituary gives his age at death as 102.

[12] Death of Guinea Pete, Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper 11 Oct 1848.

[13] Deed Peter Longstreth and his wife Mary to Daniel Neale, all of Bensalem,  dated 13 Oct. 1819, Bucks County Deeds, 47:454.  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSN2-6SW6-P?i=616&cat=244488  , accessed 20 Feb 2019). The estimated birth year of daughter Catherine places the marriage prior to 1812.

[14] Mary is not mentioned in Peter Longstreth’s 1845 will.

[15] Death of Guinea Pete, Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper 11 Oct 1848.

[16] Deed William Wilson to Peter Longstreth (a black man), both of Bensalem,  dated 1 Apr 1812, Buck County Deeds, 40:599 (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSF1-5QV?i=272&cat=244488 , accessed 20 Feb 2019)

[17] Indenture from Peter Ganges to Joseph Longstreth, Papers of the Abolition Society, HSP, Collection 490, Series IV, Box 2 Folder 14.

[18] Bucks County Wills, 13:41.

[19] Bucks County Wills, 13:41. The surnames for daughters named in the will are assumed to be married names. Catherine’s YOB estimated from the 1850 Census, Geor

[20] Indenture from Peter Ganges to Joseph Longstreth, Papers of the Abolition Society, HSP, Collection 490, Series IV, Box 2 Folder 14.

[21] This transcription is from the Tubman Institute. See: http://www.tubmaninstitute.ca/sites/default/files/file/PeterLongstreth.docx_.pdf (accessed 20 Feb 2019).

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