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Jack and Parthenia’s Story

Part 2

Read Between the Lines

All that is known about Jack and Parthenia comes from a few lines in a letter written by Jack’s enslaver Hannah Penn, wife of William Penn, the founder of the colony of Pennsylvania. Historian Michael Lord examines the letter to show another side of the story.

Gathering Sugar-cane


J.W. Orr

Harvesting sugar cane took a brutal toll on enslaved men and women whose lives were cut short by this hard labor.

Granger Historical Images.

Hannah Penn


Francis Place (English, 1647-1728)

Penn family letters contain brief references to the enslaved men, women and children at Pennsbury and in Philadelphia.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Letter from Hannah Penn to James Logan


Hannah Penn (English, 1671-1726)

Letter from Hannah Penn to James Logan, arranging for Parthenia's help and ordering other items to be sent.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Pennsbury Manor

Pennsbury Manor, Morrisville, Pennsylvania.


The lsland of Barbadoes

c. 1720

Herman Moll (English, 1654?-1732)

Merchants of the colonial North transported goods to and from the West Indies, including Barbados.

Historic Hudson Valley (L.2004.14).

The South East Prospect of the City of Philadelphia

c. 1720

Peter Cooper (Possibly American, active 1713- c. 1720)

The view of the city of Philadelphia shows the city as a bustling port, where human cargo arrived by ship.

The Library Company of Philadelphia, Gift of George Mifflin Dallas, 1857.

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