Uncle Moreau - A Remarkable Man
The article on this page was published in the Weekly Standard, a Raleigh, North Carolina
newspaper August 19, 1863 Issue. W. W. Holden, Editor. Transcribed by Myrtle Bridges
February 16, 2003
The North Carolina Presbyterian mentions the death of a very remarkable Negro, known as "Uncle Moreau,"
and belonging to Gen. Owen, of Wilmington. He was, according to his own account, ninety-three years of age.
We quote the following:
He was born in Western Africa, upon the banks of the Senegal river. His name originally was "Omeroh," which
has gradually been changed into the French title he now bears. He belonged to the tribe of the Fullah, but
from which of the various nations inhabited by this people he came, it is difficult to ascertain. There is
not doubt, however, that he is the most remarkable of his tribe ever brought to this country, and is now
perhaps the only one of the nation living in the United States. One of the same was sent back to Africa as
early as 1733 by Oglethorpe; another was ransomed and sent to Liberia in 1838; besides these not more than
two Fullahs were known in 1855 to be in the limits of the Southern States.
"Uncle Moreau" was brought to this country in 1807, just before the final abolition of the slave trade. He
was landed at Charleston. Sometime after he reached this country, he fell into the hands of a cruel master,
from whom he escaped. After being arrested as a runaway and confined in jail in Fayetteville he was at
length purchased by Gen. Owen, to whom he belonged at the time of his death.
When "Uncle Moreau" became the property of Gen. Owen he was a very devout Mohammedan, but was soon taught
a "More excellent way." He was baptized by the Rev. Dr. Snodgrass, then pastor of the Presbyterian Church
in Fayetteville, and became a member of that church. His membership was afterwards transferred to the 1st
church, Wilmington, of which he died a communicant. His piety was of the highest order, being characterized
by a child like trust in the Saviour that perhaps never was excelled. He spent several months of last year
in Fayetteville, a refugee from his home, and during the time though exceedingly feeble in bodily health,
he was rarely absent from the house of God during worship. Calling to see him on one, occasion, we found
him reading his Arabic Bible which was his constant companion; and he gave us a specimen of his composition
in Arabic, which thought not equal in beauty to others we have seen written earlier in life, does credit to
his penmanship of that ancient language.
But the devout, humble Christian, reclaimed from the darkness of heathenism, has passed to the immediate
presence of his Saviour. And in the judgment of those who knew him best, there are few of those now enjoying
this blessed privilege, who have undergone less change at their transition from earth to heaven than "Uncle Moreau."
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