||George Moses Horton is born in Northampton County, NC.
||GMH moves with owner William
Horton to Chatham County, with mother and 5 sisters
||GMH lives on Horton Plantation:
400 acres, corn and wheat, 9 miles from Pittsboro between Haw River and New Hope Creek
||GMH tries to learn to read, using
pieces of spelling books, his mothers hymnal, and the New Testament; GMH tends cows
||GMH is 17; slave family is broken
up by estate distribution; ownership passes to Williams son James; GMHs job:
ploughman with horse
||GMH begins to travel to Chapel
Hill farmers market, Saturday evening through Sunday. Sells fruit and poems and performs
poems from memory (cannot yet read and write); makes up acrostic love poems for UNC
students sweethearts, which they transcribe
||GMH is befriended by Caroline Lee
Hentz, a novelist and faculty wife at UNC. She teaches him to read and write, and arranges
publication of poems; GMH poems published in Lancaster Gazette, Raleigh Register, New York
||Three NC benefactors, including
Governor John Owen, attempt to purchase Horton from Hall, for $100 over the purchase
price; Hall refuses.
||GMH publishes Hope of Liberty
||Hentz leaves Chapel Hill; puts
Horton in one of her novels
||GMH is writing and selling about
12 poems a week, for 25 cents each; begins "hiring out" his time from James for
25 cents per week; begins living in Chapel Hill, working for UNC President Joseph Calwell
||GMH marries a slave from Franklin
Snipes farm; has son, Free Snipes, and daughter, Rhody
||James Horton dies, GMH ownership
passes to son Hall Horton, who raises weekly "hire out" fee to 50 cents.
publishes in Southern Literary Messenger
||GMH writes to northern
abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to ask for help in purchasing his life; no response
||GMH publishes The Poetical
Works of George Moses Horton, the Colored Bard of North Carolina; sells copies for 50
cents to raise funds for liberty
||GMH is 55 years old; writes to
UNC President David Swain, begs him for purchase price of $250; it has become too
difficult for Horton to walk the 8 miles to Chapel Hill. Swain suggests he write to Horace
Greely. GMH writes to Greely, then to Swain again.
||GMH delivers speech to UNC
students about his life, his slavery, his views, and his philosophy: "An Address: The
Stream of Liberty and Science..."
||UNC students leave university for
war; GMH loses market for poems
||Union troops enter Chapel Hill;
Horton comes under protection of Capt. William H.S. Banks, 9th Michigan Cavalry
Volunteers; travels with troops, writing poems about the wars end and love poems for
Union soldiers sweethearts.
||Banks helps Horton publish Naked
Genius; promotes book as a way for disabled Union veterans to make their fortunes
||GMH moves to Philadelphia;
attempts to gain entry to literary society
||GMH dies, leaving no account of
his final years. A manuscript of 229 pages, "The Museum," now lost.