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Forum Home  <  African-Americans  ~  Ishmael Williams

Phil Reader
Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:57 am Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Apr 2007 Posts: 392 Location: Live Oak
SAN JUAN 1858

Ishmael Williams, a club-footed ex-slave from Georgia arrived in eastern Monterey county, later San Benito county. He established himself at San Juan where he entered into business. The 1860 census appraised his real and personal property at over $10,000. However, as the result of a bad marriage, he lost his capital and found work as a teamster at the New Idria Quicksilver Mines, hauling the Cinnabar to Alviso. He became well known through out the area.

Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck drew upon members of the local Black community as inspiration for characters in several of his major works. Crooks, the Black hired man in "Of Mice And Men", is patterned after Ishmael Williams.
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