Jack Jackson


A number of individuals named Jack Jackson lived (sometimes at the same time) in the city of Albany during its initial stages of settlement and development. This sketch/essay introduces the name to our social mosaic and begins to profile the life of the individual who was listed as "Jack Jackum" on the Albany census in 1790. Keeping in mind that more than one similarly named contemporary individual was at-risk, we still might infer that he was a free person of color whose nine-person household was in Albany's second ward.

The puzzle that is his story begins for us in 1779 when the Albany assessment roll taken in March lists his modestly valued house and lot in the second ward. However a few months later in October another tax list individually valued the property of "Old Jack" and "Young Jack" at five dollars each with the younger appearing below "Old Jack." [The five dollars seems a modest sum considering that a prominent and loyal neighbor was assessed $3,000 on the same list.] However, a decade later in 1788, only the household of "Widow Jackson & Son" appeared on the citywide assessment roll. In 1800, two separate individuals named "Jack Jackson" were listed on the Albany census in the first (Jack Jackson a free Negro with five free people in his household) and second ("John Jackson a free man" with 3 white men and six other free people in his household) wards. At this point, we surmise that "Jack Jackson" was the husband/consort of Afro Albanian matriarch Dinnah Jackson.

However, other puzzlements give us pause! Thinking out loud yet cautious because of multiple potential subjects, we feel it prudent to move on from this profile of Albany's first "Jack Jackson."

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Jack Jackson has no CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Please keep in mind that this sketch is being developed utilizing what we think we know about Albany resident the so-called "first" John Jackson. We are not at all certain regarding his precise connection to Dinnah Jackson.

first posted 7/20/16