The Thomas Family
Henry settled in Buffalo, New York. In 1842, he opened a barbershop and developed a thriving business. He married a free black woman from Canada West, named Maria. During his years in Buffalo, he was active in the local anti-slavery movement. The Thomas family moved to Buxton in 1851.
Henry and Maria had seven children. Sarah, Henry, and Jane were born in Buffalo, New York. John, Maria, and Richard were born in Buxton.
Henry’s nephews, John and James Rapier lived with him and were educated in the Buxton Mission School. John became a doctor and returned to the United States. James became a teacher and he was the first teacher in the Buxton School S.S. # 13. After the Civil War when slavery ended, James moved to Alabama and he was elected to be State Representative in Congress.
Daughter, Sarah Thomas taught school during the Civil War and after the war, she moved to Mississippi. Henry sold his farm in 1869. He left Buxton and settled in Mississippi, where he and Maria (wife) operated a boarding house. Henry Thomas died in Mississippi in 1888.
**Further details can be found on the Virtual Exhibits of the History webpage.