William Pepper


William Pepper was an African-ancestry resident of Albany and Watervliet during the late eighteenth-early nineteenth centuries. We seek information on his origins and path to Albany.

His wife was Elizabeth Simpson. Between 1795 and 1801, they had three children christened at the Albany Dutch church. She was buried from the church in September 1802.

In 1790, the census identified him as a resident of Watervliet and showed that the two members of his household were free people of color. In 1800, he was identifed as a resident of the second ward of Albany with four "free persons" living in the household. His home was in the North End of Albany probably out on Pearl or Market Street.

He seems to have earned his living as a laborer and paid taxes on real and personal property in Albany's second ward in 1799 and 1802. In 1788, he was living in a house with Ned Davis. The notation "House they live in" perhaps implies a less than casual connection.

The Albany city directory for 1815 listed him as a "laborer" living at 54 N. Market Street and identified him as a "free person of color." In 1817, the directory called him a laborer living at 28 Pine Street. That was the most recent reference to William Pepper encountered so far.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of William Pepper is CAP biography number 2551. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Sweep of IRS - July 27, 2012.

first posted: 9/20/06; last updated 7/27/12.