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Alfred Bruce


Mr. Alfred Bruce is buried at Ellsworth Cemetery, with many of his family.

Born in the early 1820s, he was likely the eldest son of Mr. Isaac and Miranda Bruce. They were a free Black couple in Frederick County, Maryland. Unusually, he was born free of a man who had also been born free.

In late 1850, Mr. Bruce married Ms. Angeline Bell, from Manchester in northern Carroll County. While Mr. and Mrs. Bruce were both free, like most African Americans (80%) they were illiterate. At the same time, they owned about $400 worth of land near Westminster.

Mr. Bruce worked on his farm, and in the local tannery run by Mr. Elias Yingling. (Note that the land for Ellsworth Cemetery was deeded from the estate of Mr. Yingling.) He regularly served as a commissioner for the African American school in town, following the Civil War. They had at least eight children, six of whom lived to adulthood.

In 1898, he was kicked by a horse and broke his leg. Mr. Bruce recovered from his injuries and voted in the election on Tuesday. He died the next day of heart disease (on November 9th, 1898).

His will specified that no more than $25 should be spent on his headstone. Mr. Alfred Bruce was buried in Ellsworth Cemetery near Westminster, Maryland.

Maryland State Archives

American Sentinel, 11 Nov 1898

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