“MY NAME IS QUASHY QUANDEY” (QUASH QUANDO)
The name is a derivative of “Kwash Akwanda” an “AKAN ” day name from the people of Ghana, West Africa. Day names represent the day of the week on which one is born.
The name “Quashy” means a male child born on Sunday.
Akwanda as a surname and the use of day names are still used in Ghana today.
Quashey was kidnapped, as an adolescent, from West Africa and brought to Boston aboard a slave ship. Dr. Lazarus LeBaron of Plymouth, MA purchased him.
LeBaron attempted to change Quashy’s name but Quashy adamantly refused to have his name changed. LeBaron tried to break Quashy’s will by denying him food, beating him and even trying to bribe him with a fancy feathered hat. None of these attempts worked.
MY NAME IS QUASH QUANDO! Father of Quamony Quash.1
QUAMONY QUASH – Revolutionary Service Record
Quamony Quash enlisted in 1775 in the regiment of his owner, Theophilus Cotton (Cotton led a regiment from Plymouth; they took part in the siege of Boston). Cotton’s regiment became part of the 23rd Continental and later the 2nd Massachusetts. The 2nd Massachusetts, from 1779 on, was part of the “Highland’s Department”, serving along the Hudson River around West Point. Quash was at West Point for a year and sometime in 1781 was sent from West Point to Albany and then to Rutland, MA to guard prisoners.
Quamony Quash was honorably discharged at Rutland, MA, in 1782.
Service in the Revolutionary War by enslaved African-Americans and Native Americans did bring freedom for some.
Quamony Quash’s freedom is documented.
Manumission: On 2-3-1781 Theophilus Cotton drew up a document stating that …
In consideration of my Negro Quamony’s having enlisted himself at my request into the Service of the Continent for three years, and upon his faithfully serving the full time without departing therefrom, and my receiving the one half of the wages due for said Service, together with the bounty given by the Town, do at his commencing twenty-one years of age, quit all pretensions to him as a slave and bind my Self, my heirs Executors and administrators forever against holding him any longer in Servitude – And I do allow said Quamony out of the bounty three hundred paper Dollars – Old Emission and five hard ones, with half of his Wages… (Plymouth Notary Public Record, Book 4, Page 106; Please note: this is the only writ of manumission found in Plymouth to date.)2
Cotton died on February 18, 1782.
Quamony was probably freed shortly thereafter.
1 Opoku, Kofi Asare (1976). “The Destiny of Man in Akan Traditional Religious Thought”; Magazine, ed., Assimeg, J.M.; Conch Magazine, Buffalo, N.Y.; Segment; Traditional Life, Culture and Literature in Ghana
2 Plymouth First Church Records, Page 44 and Plymouth County Probate Records, Vol. 28, Page 403