Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Cary, Lott

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CARY, Lott, negro slave, b. in Charles City co., Va., in 1780; d. in Monrovia, Africa, 8 Nov., 1828. In 1804 he was sent to Richmond, and hired out as a common laborer. Gifted with a high order of native intelligence, he soon taught himself, with slight assistance, to read and write, and, having a remarkable memory and sense of order, he became one of the best shipping-clerks in the Richmond tobacco warehouses. Until 1807 he was an unbeliever, but during that year became converted to Christianity, and was ever afterward a leader among the Baptists of his own color. In 1813 he purchased his own freedom and that of his two children for $850. As a freeman he maintained his habits of industry and economy, and when the colonization scheme was organized had accumulated a sum sufficiently large to enable him to pay his own expenses as a member of the colony sent out to the African coast in 1822. He was with the colony during its early wars with the barbarous natives, and rendered invaluable services as a counsellor, physician, and pator. He was elected vice-agent of the colonization society in 1826, and during the absence of Mr. Ashmun, the agent, acted in his place. On the evening of 8 Nov., 1828, he was making cartridges in anticipation of an attack from slave-traders, when an accidental explosion fatally injured him and seven of his companions.