Sully Watson

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Antebellum Stafford

Sully Watson

Not all slaves remained slaves.  Sully Watson, originally a Moncure family slave at “Windsor Forest” in northern Stafford, was described as light-skinned, with green or blue eyes.  Born there in 1780, Watson managed to buy his freedom and lived as a free man in Stafford until 1834, when he moved to Ohio and Wisconsin. Working as a whitewasher and bricklayer, Watson purchased property in Milwaukee.  When he died in 1862 at the age of 82, he left an estate worth $5,000.  His oldest son, William Watson, was subsequently a leader in Milwaukee’s black community and his great-granddaughter, Mabel Raimey, was Wisconsin’s first black female attorney.  (Photo:  Milwaukee Public Museum)