Yarrow Mamout

A Short Biography

below is an excerpt of an observation taken from the exhibit on display:

Yarrow Mamout (b. circa 1736 - d. 1824)  was an enslaved Muslim from Africa, who was owned by the Beall family of Montgomery County. Yarrow was born about 1736 in Guinea. He was taken from his native homeland and brought to Maryland, where he was purchased by Colonel Samuel Beall, Jr. of Montgomery County. Samuel Beall, died in September of 1777 and his son Brooke Beall, Esq., acquired Yarrow. Not much is known about Yarrow's personal life, but he did have one son Aquilla "Quilla" Yarrow. Mamout's son was owned by Ann Chambers of Montgomery County, MD.

Brooke Beall initially lived in Montgomery County and was the first Clerk of the Court when Montgomery County was formed from Frederick.  In 1783 Brooke Beall moved his family and slaves from Montgomery County to Georgetown, where he worked as a shipping merchant. Yarrow worked as a brick maker at the Georgetown home of Brooke Beall. According to the ledger of Brooke Beall, Yarrow was hired out for two days of work on board the Maryland.7 Beall died July 11, 1795 leaving Yarrow in the care of his widow Margaret Johns Beall. In previous accounts it was said that Yarrow was manumitted by his deceased master's widow Margaret Beall. However, Yarrow was manumitted August 22, 1796 by Upton Beall, the son of Brooke and Margaret Beall. His son Aquilla, who was seven at the time, was manumitted by Ann Chambers in March, but wasn't allowed to be free until he could earn a living for himself or unless his father took him into his care. Aquilla would not have been completely manumitted if Yarrow hadn't received his manumission. Four years after he was manumitted, Yarrow Mamout purchased his own property in Georgetown, where there was a growing free black population.  In 1819, Charles Willson Peale painted a portrait of the elderly Mamout. According to Peale, Yarrow Mamout was a self professed Mohammedan, practicing Islam. Three years later, Yarrow was painted by James Alexander Simpson of Georgetown. Mamout was a well known figure in Georgetown and crossed paths with many affluent families. Yarrow Mamout died in Georgetown, D.C. on January 19, 1824.


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