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The Crossings of Occramar Marycoo, or Newport Gardner

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Chapter Summary

It took Newport Gardner an entire lifetime to achieve his dream. It took less than two weeks for it to shatter. In 1826 Gardner, along with family and friends, returned to the continent of his birth: Africa. Gardner had been a slave, and he lived most of his life on the other side of the Atlantic. Even before he received his freedom, Gardner and other blacks (as well as several philanthropic whites) had planned a return to Africa. Few blacks had experiences as variegated and complex as the man originally known as Occramar Marycoo. Although he would eventually have his name changed to Newport Gardner his first name from the town in which he resided and his last name from the merchant who kept him enslaved (Caleb Gardner) - Marycoo fashioned a complex identity that fused a continuing interest in Africa with an increasing appropriation of Western culture and religion.

Keywords: Africa; blacks; Newport Gardner; Occramar Marycoo; slavery



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