JEFFERSON’S MUSLIM FUGITIVES
THE LOST STORY OF ENSLAVED AFRICANS, THEIR ARABIC LETTERS. AND AN AMERICAN PRE- SIDENT
Author(s): Jeffrey Einboden
Ira P. Nash (d. 1844), an American land and slave owner of British descent, had, on Sunday, October 3, 1807, sought a private interview in Washington with President Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) over ‘a matter of momentous importance’ (p. 147). On the following day Nash was able to present to the President two Arabic manuscript writings by anonymous Muslim slaves fleeing their captivity in Kentucky’ (p. 7). The two manuscripts as well as a 1750 piece from Georgia all published here for the first time represent the earliest surviving 18th century exemplars of Arabic writings in the newly found United States (p. 9).