Spreading Good News (Post 755 – BLACK HISTORY TUESDAY: Matthias de Souza [c. 1620-?], First African American Officeholder in Colonial America) )

Spreading Good NewsThe goal of Spreading Good News is for readers to:

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We all should know more about the contributions that African-Americans have made in the fields of science and medicine, as well as art, music, the written word, sports, and just-everyday life.

“Black History Month,” (February) is over, but I will continue Spreading Good News about Black History on what I will call “Black History Tuesday.”

I hope you enjoy this piece!


Matthias de SouzaBLACK HISTORY TUESDAY:  Matthias de Souza (c. 1620-?), First African American Officeholder in Colonial America

Source:  The Internet

Matthias de Souza, an indentured servant, was the only black person to serve in the colonial Maryland legislature. As such he is the first African American to sit in any legislative body in what would become the United States.

Matthias de Souza, one of nine indentured servants working for Father Andrew White, a Catholic priest, arrived at St Mary’s City, St Clements Island, Maryland, in 1634 on the ship The Ark along with White and other European settlers.  De Souza was probably of mixed African and European (possibly Portuguese) descent, judging by land records that record him being called a ‘Molato’ (Mulatto) by a priest in the colony.

For the first few years he lived in Maryland, de Souza worked for Jesuit priests, although the exact details of his activities are not known.  Generally, such servants built and maintained churches and houses for the Jesuits.

In 1638, having worked for the required four years as an indentured servant, de Souza became a free man.  He earned money by continuing to work for the priests.  He also traded English goods with Indians for animal furs and food.  In 1641 he commanded a small boat on a two-month voyage to trade with the Susquehannock Indians.  In 1642, de Souza sailed as master of a ketch belonging to the Provincial Secretary, John Lewger.

De Sousa departed and returned to the capital of the colony, St. Mary’s City, many times. He also voted, and in 1641 he was elected to the Maryland General Assembly, serving until 1642.  Soon after, when Susquehannock Indians attacked the English settlers, de Souza became indebted to John Lewger and to planter John Hollis as he was unable to trade for furs.  The last trace of Matthias de Sousa in the records of the colony is an order of the court in 1642 requiring him to reenter indentured servitude.  He was ordered to serve John Lewger for a limited period of time to pay off a debt.

No record remains of de Souza’s activities after 1642, but the Indians killed some colonists in battles during 1643 and other colonists became sick and died from disease and lack of food.


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JourneyIf you’re interested in reading all about “My Breast Cancer Journey,” those posts start with post #334.


~ Joyce Fields



Joyce is an author who has written seven books.  If you enjoy this blog, you will, undoubtedly, enjoy all her books.  Her sister, Anita, is also an author.

BE INSPIRED!  You can read about and order their books AND order merchandise from their online store at this link (or click the “BE INSPIRED!” button above):


Thanks for your interest AND support!!

Contact Joyce at goodshortbooks@yahoo.com.



I visit these blogs and leave comments regularly.  I think you will enjoy them all!

http://www.lenasledgeblog.com  Books, reviews, give-aways, interviews.

http://living4bliss.com  Believing Life Is Set up for Success (BLISS)

http://goss-coaching.com/author/gosscoaching  A professional writer and wellness coach helping people connect thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and action to create optimal health and a vibrant life.

http://www.thebirkineffect.com  Musings of a “want it all” 21st century woman.

http://www.thesweetsensations.com  A baking, entertainment, and lifestyle blog.  Fantastic recipes and food photography, too!

http://www.pennilessparenting.com  A rich life on minimum wage.  Plus fabulous, healthful recipes!

http://www.rumpydog.com  I’m a dog with a unique perspective on human life.

http://www.davidkanigan.com/  Lead.Learn.Live.  David Kanigan:  Inspiration, Ideas & Information.

http://callingoftheheart.wordpress.com  Spirituality, Psychology, and Political.

http://www.petedenton.wordpress.com  Writer of short stories, Flash fiction, and some scripts.

About Line of Serenity (Joyce Fields)

As a thought leader for today's generation, I choose to be part of the solution and am doing things that positively impact people's lives. In addition to being a happy, married (since 1967!) woman, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, I have over 40 years' experience in "Corporate America": Stenographer, Secretary, Supervisor, Analyst, Office Manager, Executive Assistant. I am also a professional proofreader and the author of 10 books (mostly non-fiction)--http://www.GoodShortBooks.com).
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2 Responses to Spreading Good News (Post 755 – BLACK HISTORY TUESDAY: Matthias de Souza [c. 1620-?], First African American Officeholder in Colonial America) )

  1. Sandra says:

    I love these black history facts. Thank you again for taking the time to do the research for us.

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