Rev. Lott Cary was at one time among the best known figures in African American history. Accounts differ as to whether he was the first American missionary, the first African American missionary or the first African American missionary to volunteer to go abroad. Born a slave in 1783, Cary purchased his own freedom and sailed to Africa on the Brig Nautilus which arrived at Sierra Lione 08 MAR 1821. Cary was instrumental in founding the Colony of Liberia and would have served as the colony’s vice-agent had he not been killed in 1828 in a gunpowder explosion. He established Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia and served the colony both as a teacher and as self-taught physician. Lott Cary was the son of Robert Cary, a free man, and a slave mother, possibly named Francis. Lott is listed in an inventory and appraisement of slaves belonging to Gideon Christian taken on 31 JAN 1797 and valued at 50 pounds. Charles Ctiy County Will Book No. 1, pp 393-394. Though a slave, he inherited 10 pounds sterling under the settlement of his father’s estate. Charles City county Will Book No. 1