She remembers being sold for $40.


New York Age, 22 July 1933.


Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 3.40.54 PM

The sailor she married: on 27 May 1874 in Salem, Massachusetts, Laura Whitfield, 30, of North Carolina, married Augustus Mafuta, 40, of “Africa.” It was a first marriage for both.

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 3.57.45 PM

1880 census, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 3.34.20 PM

Worcester, Massachusetts, City Directory, 1898.

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 3.27.16 PM

Worcester, Massachusetts, City Directory, 1909.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 10.24.34 PM

1920 census, Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts.


  1. The post above reads that he was Augustus “Mafuta of Africa “…
    Mafuti, sometimes spelled with an “a”, is in Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe.

    It appears that he may very well have been from Zimbabwe……brought all the way through enslavement to Wilson by way of Africa. WOW!

    He may very well have been a prince as the European slavetraders captured the best and the brightest from among the African people on the African continent.

  2. Laura Whitfield was in New England when she married sailor Alexander Mafuta. There is no information about when he arrived in the USA, but it seems likely that it was after Emancipation. He may well have learned to sail on the Indian Ocean!

  3. Hi Lisa, I love the work you do here. It has been helpful in my own genealogical efforts. I’ve started adding some people you highlight on this site to the WikiTree World tree. I found a 1870 census record for a Laura Whitfield born in NC around 1843 with a presumed father and several young Whitfield children living in Texas. Do you agree this may be her family? Link:

Leave a Reply