Abraham Marcus Sallé, Sr.

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Abraham Marcus Sallé, Sr.

Birthdate: (46)
Birthplace: Saint-Martin-de-Ré, Île de Ré, Charente-Maritime department, Poitou-Charentes, France
Death: March 1, 1720 (46)
Manakintowne, Henrico County, Province of Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Jean (John) Calvin Salle, II and Marie-Anne Martin
Husband of Olive Olympia Perrault
Father of Abraham Sallee, III; Jacob Salle; Isaac Salle; Jean Pierre Sallé; William Sallé, Sr. and 1 other

Occupation: Shoemaker, Merchant, Justice of the Peace, Interpreter
Managed by: Lindsay O'Bryan
Last Updated:

About Abraham Marcus Sallé, Sr.



Wendell E. Wilson, The Huguenot Ancestry of Jane “Jinny” Sally of Kentucky, http://www.minrec.org/wilson/pdfs/16A.%20%20Sally.pdf

Abraham Sallé (1673-1719)

Abraham Sallé was born on 22 February 1673 in the town of St. Martin, on the Isle of Ré, Aunis province, France. His godfather was Abraham Ribier, and his godmother was Damelle Suzanne Michaud.

The Edict of Nantes, which had protected the Protestants from serious persecution, was revoked by King Louis XVI in October of 1685, when Abraham was just 12 years old. The revocation specified that “all Protestant forms of worship are to cease, and all Protestant churches and temples are to be immediately destroyed.” Huguenot ministers were given two weeks to leave France, but all other Protestants were forbidden from emigrating.

Nevertheless, it is estimated that as many as two million French Protestants left the country as a result of persecution, seeking sanctuary in England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, Scandinavia, South Africa, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada and America.

Abraham's parents, according to the Protestant Register on the Isle of Ré, were illiterate; but Abraham was an educated man, able to write fluently in both French and English. His parents and two of his brothers renounced their Protestant faith (probably at gunpoint) on June 5, 1686, the year after the Revocation, but Abraham remained staunchly Protestant.

The King of England, head of the Protestant Church of England, was naturally sympathetic to the Huguenot cause and gave sanctuary to thousands of emigrants. Shortly after the Revocation, Abraham Salle´ and his father left France for England, and established themselves in London. Jean Sallé died in London in 1691; Abraham applied for citizenship in 1698. The following year he married Olive Olympia Perrault in the church of St. Catherine'sby-the-Tower, London. [The fact that they were not married in a French church suggests that perhaps the bride was English.] In 1700 Abraham and his wife left London for New York City and began a new life in the New World.

Abraham and Olive met up with other French refugees already living in New York, and joined the French Church there, applying for citizenship in 1700. Their first child, Abraham Jr., was born in New York on 3 September 1700, and their son Jacob was born on 28 July 1701, both baptized in the French Church.

The King of England, eager to colonize his holdings in Virginia, had set aside 10,000 acres of land for the Huguenots, each person to receive 133 acres in the area of Manakin town. This was sufficient attraction for Abraham to move his family south to Virginia: the chance to have his own homestead in a French Protestant community.

Other Huguenot families had already arrived in Virginia. In July of 1700, the Mary Ann had sailed into Hampton, Virginia carrying 207 Huguenot refugees. Shortly thereafter came the Peter and Anthony, the Nassau, and a fourth ship whose name is lost to history. All together over 500 Huguenots arrived to claim the offer of a free homestead. They were pointed upstream toward an old Indian settlement that had been abandoned by the Monikan tribe.

Another group of refugees arrived in October, and Governor Nicholson provided support by soliciting charitable donations throughout the colony. To further aid the settlers, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed an act in December of 1700 granting the new settlement (called Manikintown after the original inhabitants) parish status and making the residents tax-exempt for seven years. Within a year the French (many of whom had been businessmen and tradesmen) had established successful farms and cattle herds in the rich bottom land adjacent to the river. Their first church was built in 1701; it was a small octagonal building.

Abraham Sallé arrived in Manakintown in 1701, in the company of his wife, two sons, and a female negro slave. He soon became a prominent member of the community, a Vestryman and the town clerk. He was not afraid of argument, even getting into a nasty dispute with the settlement's arrogant appointed (though never ordained) minister bringing charges against Abraham before the town council.

Sallé´s defense was as follows:

Mr. Philippe [has] complained that I affronted him on the 30th day of March last, while he was in the pulpit, by calling him seditious. I beg leave to represent to your honors the whole fact as it happened, which I flatter myself will be a complete justification.

When Mr. Philippe had finished the service of the day, he continued in the pulpit as his custom is where there is any parish business to be done. The first thing he did was to demand the Register of Christenings to be delivered up to him by the Clerk of the Vestry [an elected 12-man governing body for both church and civil affairs], and in case he refused to do it he would excommunicate him! He was pleased to say this with a rage very unbecoming a church, which made me entreat him to have a little patience til the dispute should be ended, as to whether the Registry book should be in the Vestry's custody or his. I assured him that the Vestry had no intention to encroach upon his rights, or to give up their own, and therefore desired to inform themselves more fully on the matter.

Upon this he flew out into a greater passion than before, and frankly told us that he acknowledged no Vestry, neither would he have the people acknowledge any. Immediately several of his people stood up, and in the church took the liberty to utter many in injurious things against me; and the last [who spoke] pressed the whole congregation to get up to the place where I was, and then catching me by the coat, he threatened me very hardly, and by his example several of the crowd were heard to say, “we must assassinate that damned fellow with the black beard,” and “that Bougre de Chien [dog of a man] ought to be hanged up out of the way,” and several other violent expressions not very proper for [use in] the Church.

Philippe, far from endeavoring to appease their tumult, did his best to inflame it, and was louder and more outrageous than anybody. When I found matters in that dangerous condition, I thought it prudent to withdraw, and when I came to the Church door I told Mr. Philippe that it was obvious he had fomented that sedition, and he therefore was a seditious person, and even the chief of the Seditious. This is the naked fact as it happened, which I am ready to prove to your honors by sufficient testimony.

Abraham went on to say that the Vestry had been duly elected, and was recognized as such by de Richbourg who applied to them for his salary, but since having a quarrel with one of them now wanted to replace the whole body with his own supporters who “would be ready to sacrifice the parish to his extravagance and arbitrary humor.”

Sallé won his case, and disgruntled Philippe de Richbourg moved to South Carolina a year later, in 1711.

Abraham and his wife Olive both died in 1719. Their six children, Abraham Jr. (1700), Jacob (1701), Isaac (1703), Guillaume (1704), Pierre (1705) and Olive (1710), all survived them, though Jacob died unmarried at the age of 19, in 1720.

Our direct ancestor is Guillaume (1704), who married the daughter of one of the founders of Manakintown.

Abraham Sallé, like most of the more affluent Huguenots in America, was a slaveowner. In his will he left the following slaves:

(1) To his oldest son Abraham (Jr.): “one negro woman called Aigy” (2) To his son Jacob: “one negro man called Bob” (3) To his son William: “one little mulatto boy called George” (4) To his son Peter: “ one little negro boy called James”

It is possible that he had already sold off any adult male farmhands when he retired from farming his own lands, and retained only household staff. Many negroes belonging to Sallé family members are noted in the birth records of Manakintown.

Abraham Sallé (Jr.), in his will, left six slaves: a negro woman named Agar, a negro woman named Jenny, a negro man named Bob, a negro woman named Mary, a negro girl called Sarah, and a negro boy named Robin.

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Abraham Marcus Sallé, Sr.'s Timeline

February 22, 1674
Charente-Maritime department, Poitou-Charentes, France
October 3, 1700
Age 26
August 5, 1701
Age 27
New York, USA
Age 28
Manakintown (?), VA, USA
November 9, 1705
Age 31
Manakintowne, Goochland County, Province of Virginia
Age 31
Manikintowne, Goochland County, Province of Virginia
Age 35
Manakintown, Goochland, VA
March 1, 1720
Age 46
Manakintowne, Henrico County, Province of Virginia