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Asher Freeman (abt. 1754 - 1820)

Asher Freeman
Born about in Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1780 in Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 65 in Hanover, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 22 Feb 2018
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1776 Project
Private Asher Freeman served with 10th Massachusetts Regiment (1777), Continental Army during the American Revolution.
US Black Heritage Project
Asher Freeman is a part of US Black heritage.


Asher Freeman was born enslaved in Scituate, Massachusetts in 1754 and went on to become a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Asher was son of Philis, "slave" to Dr. Isaac Otis I (1699-1777).

In the marriage listing in the Vital Records of Scituate, in the entry for Asher and his Indian wife, Dinah Comsett, it is noted that Asher was held in slavery by Nathan Cushing, Esq.[1]

An entry appears for them in the Negro Marriages index at the right time (January 25, 1777), but it is noted as "crossed out", but the couple's marriage intention is recorded again on April 9, 1780. This 3-year gap comports with Asher Freeman's service in the Continental Army. Asher's marriage is further noted in Dwelly and Simmons's "History of Hanover":

When Asher Freeman...[married] in 1780 he gave his name as "Freedman". Asher was a [son] of Phyllis (who was a slave belonging to Dr. Otis), and was baptized June 2, 1754. This Phyllis, the slave, had at least four other children, all of whom were baptized.[2]

Phyllis (also spelled Philis) is shown in Scituate Vital Records as marrying Jack, a man enslaved by Joseph Foster in 1743; this may be the father of Asher and his siblings.

Asher and Dinah had several children and the family resided in the South Scituate/Norwell African American community called Wildcat.[3]

Asher is the great-grandfather to three Civil War Veterans. Warren F. Freeman (1845-1868) and William Henry Freeman (1841-1891) both served in the famed Massachusetts 54th Regiment. Lemuel Freeman (1830-1864) served in a different unit and died as a result of wounds suffered in battle at Petersburg, Virginia.

Asher Freeman passed away in 1820 in Hanover, Massachusetts.[4]

Revolutionary War Service

Asher Freeman served for four years in the Revolutionary Army. Below is the complete transcription from Asher's entry in "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War":

FREEMAN, ASHER. Scituate. List of men raised to serve in the Continental Army from 2d Plymouth Co. regt., as returned agreeable to order of Council of Nov. 7, 1777; residence, Scituate; engaged for town of Scituate; joined Capt. Winslow's co. Col. Marshall's regt.; term, during war; also, list of men mustered between March 5, and March 22, 1777, by James Hatch, Muster Master for Plymouth Co.; Capt. Winslow's co. Col. Marshall's regt.; age, 19 yrs; also. Private, 5th co. Col. Thomas Marshall's regt.; Continental Army pay accounts for service from March 3, 1777, to Dec. 31, 1779; also, Capt. Nathaniel Winslow's co., Col. Marshall's regt.;. rations allowed from date of enlistment, March 5, 1777, to April 4, 1777; credited with 30 days allowance; subsistence also allowed for 11 days travel on march to Bennington; roll sworn to at Boston; also, Capt. Jacob Wales's (1st) co., Col. Marshall's (10th) regt. ; account of clothing delivered for the year 1778; also, same co. and regt.; muster rolls for Jan. and March 1779, dated West Point; enlisted March 1, 1777; enlistment, 3 years; reported on command at Tarrytown in Jan 1779; also, 5th co. Col. Marshall's regt.; Continental Army pay accounts for service from Jan. 1, 1780, to March 4, 1780; reported discharged March 3, 1780; also, descriptive list of men raised to reinforce Continental Army for the term of 6 months, agreeable to resolve of June 5, 1780, returned as received of Justin Ely, Commissioner, by Brig. Gen. John Glover, at Springfield, July 22, 1780; age, 23yrs; stature, 5 ft. 9 in.; complexion, negro; engaged for town of Scituate; marched to camp July 22, 1780, under command of Capt. William Scott; also, list of men raised for the 6 months service and returned by Brig. Gen. Paterson as having passed muster in a return dated Camp Totoway, Oct. 25, 1780; also, pay roll for 6 months men raised by the town of Scituate for service in the Continental Army during 1780; marched to camp July 17, 1780; discharged Jan. 13, 1781; service, 5 mos. 28 days; also. Private, Col. Benjamin Tupper's (10th) regt.; service from March 19, 1781, 21 mos. 11 days.[5]

Asher's service spanned from March 1777 - March 1781.


  1. Scituate (Mass.: Town). (1909). "Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts: to the year 1850". Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, at the charge of the Eddy town-record fund.
  2. Dwelley, J., Simmons, J. F. (1910). "History of the Town of Hanover, Massachusetts: with family genealogies". [Hanover, Mass.]: Pub. by the Town of Hanover (Mass.: Town). (1898).
  3. Merritt, J. Foster. (1928). "Old Time Anecdotes of the North River and the South Shore". Rockland, Mass.: Rockland Standard Pub. Co.
  4. "A copy of the records of births, marriages, and deaths and of intentions of marriage of the town of Hanover, Mass. 1727-1857". Rockland [Mass.]: Press of the Rockland standard.
  5. Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. (1896-1908). "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War: A compilation from the archives". Boston, Vol 6: Wright and Potter Printing Co., State Printers.

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More info at his Find a Grave entry but needs sourcing first.
posted by K Raymoure