Jack Murray – “Fiddler Jack” An African-American ship’s caulker

On Wednesday, December 19, 1861, Jack Murray, died at his home on Caroline Street, Fell’s Point, at the age of 110 years. He was born in the year 1751 in Baltimore Town, prior to the city being incorporated in 1797. He was employed as a caulker in William Price’s shipyard at the Point, the first shipbuilder in Baltimore,and continue his employment until the infirmities of old age compelled him to relinquished it. He was born a slave, but obtained his freedom some seventy years ago. 

He learned to play the violin and was present at various dances, thus earning him the name of “Fiddler Jack.”  He was upwards of twenty five years old at the time of the American Revolution. “His recollections of General Washington and other revolutionary heroes were also very distinct, and many and interesting are the anedotes repeated by him of the trying times of the revolution.”

His final resting place is unknown.

Sources: The Sun, December 20, 1861; Baltimore Republican, December 20, 1861; Maryland News Sheet, December 20, 1861.

Published in: on June 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm  Comments Off on Jack Murray – “Fiddler Jack” An African-American ship’s caulker  
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