From the inscription on his gravestone, we know that Joseph Sharp was born about 1748.
On November 8, 1803, he purchased the freedom of "Cate," from John Stevenson for $150. At that time, she was called "his wife." On November 20, he was identified as a barber. On November 27, he married Cate Stevenson at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Albany.
A headstone inscription found in the African Methodist Episcopal plot of the "removed stones" at Albany Rural Cemetery noted his passing on November 27, 1813 and that he had lived sixty-five years. His will passed probate on November 30, 1813.
Despite little direct evidence, we believe that Joseph Sharp was a "free" member of the early Afro Albanian community.
Sources: The life of Joseph Sharp has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from community-based resources. With so little qualitative information currently at hand, we recognize that this profile is pe-mature. An Internet search has brought up a number of intriguing but as yet-not-connected leads. We can only guess at any connection to the Sharp family of Albany.
first posted: 3/25/07