NC man finds slave-turned-patriot ancestor

A descendant of a chieftain’s son kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery in Massachusetts more than 250 years ago will become the first black member inducted into a North Carolina chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution this weekend.

Chaz Moore, 30, is a descendant of Toby Gilmore, the son of a chieftain in coastal West Africa who was kidnapped at 16 and sold into slavery in Massachusetts. He gained his freedom after fighting for American independence against the British.

Moore, a native of Worcester, Mass., only recently learned he had an ancestor who had joined the Colonists’ side during the Revolutionary War.

“Growing up, I wasn’t even certain that African-Americans even fought in the Revolutionary War,” Moore said. “It’s not something that’s talked about. Then to say, ‘Well, yeah, they did, and you’re a direct descendant of one’ was unbelievable, humbling. I had to redefine patriotism for myself.”

Moore has been a Raleigh firefighter for about five years. On Saturday, he’ll become the first black inducted into the North Carolina chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in a ceremony at the state Museum of History, according to The Associated Press.

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