Cuff Chambers (Blanchard)
|Death:||Died in Leeds, Maine, USA|
|Place of Burial:||Leeds, Androscoggin, Maine, USA|
|Managed by:||Linda Kathleen Thompson, (c)|
About Cuff Chambers
- Colony: Massachusetts
- Age: 37
- Race: African American
- Rank: Private
- Status: Slave
- Position: redoubt
- Unit: Bridge/Furbush
Cuff Chambers was born around 1738 in Massachusetts. Cuff was the slave of Samuel Blanchard of Andover. There is not much information about Cuff’s early life, but there is a record of his marriage to Bette on September 16, 1762. They were both listed as slaves. Samuel Blanchard promised to give Cuff his freedom if he served in the war. After the war, Blanchard was true to his promise and gave Cuff his freedom. When he joined the militia he was listed as Cuff Blanchard. After he was free, he changed his last name to Chambers. That was his parents’ name. Years later his daughter Elizabeth stated that her father’s name originally was Chambers, but that like other slaves he had to use his masters’ last name on any record. His daughter did not provide any information about her grandparents to say if they were also slaves. In 1775 he joined the Andover militia after the Battle of Lexington and Concord. His company marched to Cambridge in May, 1775. Cuff’s militia was called “eight month’s men” due to how long they would be enlisted. Cuff was one of at least five men who were African American to serve in Bridge’s regiment.
Cuff fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and helped to build the redoubt. After the battle he and Bette moved to Amherst, New Hampshire and then to Leeds, Maine. There is no information about what he did for a living, but he was listed as a poor man requesting assistance in 1814 and received $100 to assist him and his family. He and Bette had at least five children born between 1775 and 1787. Elizabeth, their youngest, was born in 1787. He died on June 8, 1818 at the age of 80 and was buried in the Dead River Cemetery in Leeds on a bluff overlooking the river. His grave was honored by the Sons of the American Revolution and reads: “Pvt. Forbush’s Mass. Co. Rev. war June 8, 1818”. PVT means he was a private in Forbush’s company. His wife, Bette died on January 26, 1839.
Source: Biographies of Patriots of Color at The Battle of Bunker Hill
Samuel Blanchard granted Cuff Chambers his freedom after he served in the Revolutionary War.