Belinda Royall

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Belinda Sutton (born 1713 in West Africa), also known as Belinda Royall, was a Ghanaian-born woman who was enslaved by the Royall family at the Isaac Royall House in Medford, Massachusetts. She was abandoned by her master, Isaac Royall Jr, when he fled to Nova Scotia at the beginning of the American Revolution.[1][2]

In February 1783, Belinda presented a petition to the Massachusetts General Court requesting a pension from the proceeds of her enslaver's estate. As a result of this petition, an annual pension of fifteen pounds and twelve shillings was awarded to Belinda. This pension has been cited as one of the first cases of reparation for slavery and the slave trade.[2][1][3]

Subsequent petitions to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts indicate that after two initial payments, the pension payments were not forthcoming. Belinda continued to petition for the back payments until a final filing in 1793.[4]



  1. ^ a b "Medford Historical Society -- Medford, Massachusetts". 2006-07-12. Archived from the original on 2006-07-12. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  2. ^ a b "Royall, Belinda (1712- ? ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". 20 September 2009. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  3. ^ Coates, Ta-Nehisi. "The Case for Reparations". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  4. ^ "Belinda Sutton and Her Petitions". Royall House & Slave Quarters. 28 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2022-02-09.