York Town Square

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Lawyer/Episcopal priest draws query

The other day, I received an interesting query from a descendant of Samuel Bacon, a prominent York County attorney from the early 1800s.

Actually, she’s a descendant of Samuel’s brother, Ephraim, and had run across a drawing of Samuel on the local history section of the York Daily Record/Sunday News Web site. I directed her to the York County Heritage Trust’s archives, which has quite a bit of information on Samuel.

Samuel was more than an attorney, as the following entry from my “Never to be Forgotten” attests:

1820: Liberia, Africa
York Co. man dies in Africa
The Rev. Samuel Bacon, former York County Academy teacher, attorney and recently ordained Episcopal priest, dies of fever in Liberia. Bacon was working with the American Colonization Society. This group persuaded Congress to purchase land along the African coast, called Liberia, to populate with freed blacks. Some county residents are not willing to assimilate freed slaves into the community. Some fear blacks would fill scarce jobs. For example, when 52 ex-slaves from Virginia arrived in York in 1819, a newspaper reported, “All is consternation and conjecture here.”