Marriage record for Ambo and Mark Harris



Marriage record for Ambo and Mark Harris


Marriage record for Mark and Ambo dated September 8, 1811. The record indicates that Mark was a black man enslaved to Captain (Benjamin) Taylor, and Ambo was a black woman enslaved to Col. John Neilson. The Rev. Joseph Clark, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of New Brunswick, recorded the marriage in his register of marriages and baptisms along with a notation indicating that a payment of $2.50 was received for performing the ceremony.

Neither the groom's last name, nor the bride's maiden name was written down in the church register. However, other archival records indicate that Mark's last name was Harris. Mark and Ambo went on to have four children together. Additional records indicate that in 1816, five years after their marriage, Benjamin Taylor sold Mark Harris to James Neilson (the son of Ambo's enslaver) for $200, and thus Mark and Ambo eventually came to live together in the Neilson household.





Text (Transcript)

Sept. 8 Mark a black man belonging to Capt. Taylor, to
Ambo a [black] woman [belonging to] Col. John Neilson $2.50



Original format

Handwritten record in a bound manuscript volume


Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia

Archival collection

Records of the First and Second Presbyterian Churches, New Brunswick, New Jersey (Call number: 07 0525)

Archival location

Volume 14: Church register, 1790–1867, including baptisms and marriages, 1797–1869.
Subsection: Record of Marriages and Baptisms kept by Rev. Joseph Clark D.D. Pastor from January 1, 1797 to October 18, 1813 (pp. 218–226).

Item Relations


Clark, Joseph and First Presbyterian Church of New Brunswick, “Marriage record for Ambo and Mark Harris,” Scarlet and Black Digital Archive, Rutgers University, accessed May 20, 2024,