Figure of the Week

Abraham Howard

Born c.1800 - Died 1876

Abraham Howard (c.1800-1876), also known as Abram, was a highly skilled African American blacksmith who lived in Falmouth and repaired and fabricated machinery for the flour and textile mills there.  He seems to have been the son of John Howard and Elizabeth Dick of Stafford.  The blacksmith business, especially on the scale that Abraham was conducting it, was quite labor intensive.  He used two enslaved people in 1816 and by 1832 had eleven, far more than most white enslavers in Stafford during that period.  Abraham partnered in Falmouth with another African American blacksmith named William Huntsman.  During the 1820s, Abraham also kept a “House of Private Entertainment,” which was a tavern that was licensed to provide meals, lodging, and certain forms of legalized gambling.  He moved to Fredericksburg around 1835 and seems to have continued his blacksmithing business there.