Deyaha Moussa

Deyaha Moussa was a Muslim kidnapped in West Africa, purchased in Saint-Domingue by T.H. Perkins of the eponymous School for the Blind, and who witnessed the Haitian Revolution combust. Perkins’ brother trafficked Moussa to Boston in 1793. He died in 1831 and now rests anonymously in Mattapan under a giant Celtic cross.

Read my story for The Bay State Banner:

Notes:

  1. All quotes were pulled from the 1927 book History and Genealogy of the Cabot Family:1475- 1927 v.2. The account of the Haitian Revolution appears on pp. 487-493. References to Moussa appear on 489, 490, 492, and 493.
    https://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89063110266?urlappend=%3Bseq=39%3Bownerid=13510798885916882-43
  2. For discussion on the St. Paul’s crypt and the reinterment at Mount Hope, see posts from the Cathedral of St. Paul.
    https://www.stpaulboston.org/200-years-of-st-pauls/burials-and-tombs-of-st-pauls-pt-1
    https://www.stpaulboston.org/200-years-of-st-pauls/burials-and-tombs-at-st-pauls-pt-2
  3. For the spreadsheet detailing the St. Paul’s crypt transfers to Mount Hope, see below. Refer to rows 352 and 354.
    https://www.stpaulboston.org/200-years-of-st-pauls/mount-hope-cemetery
  4. For background on T.H. Perkins, I used Wikipedia.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Handasyd_Perkins
  5. For background on James Perkins, I used an entry on the Boston Athenaeum’s website.
    https://www.bostonathenaeum.org/about/publications/selections-acquired-tastes/james-perkins-1822-gilbert-stuart
  6. See also: WBUR: How Profits From Opium Shaped 19th-Century Boston (2017)
    https://www.wbur.org/news/2017/07/31/opium-boston-history
  7. Deyaha Moussa’s obituary was published in The Boston Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, Aug 17, 1831. Available online at MyHeritage Library Edition via BPL Online Resources.
    https://records.myheritagelibraryedition.com/research/record-10704-2752059/the-boston-patriot
Obituary for Deyaha Moussa a/k/a “Mousse”. A nearly identical obituary appears in the November 5, 1831 edition of The Liberator.

Creative Commons License
Copyright Wayne Tucker 2022. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Keywords: slavery, slavery in Boston, slavery in Massachusetts, slavery in New England, Boston Haitian Community, Islam in Boston, T.H. Perkins, James Perkins, Samuel G. Perkins, J & T.H. Perkins, Thomas Handasyd Perkins, Harvard and slavery, Boston Athenaeum, McLean Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Moussa the faithful slave, Mousse

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