Eric Blair Presents – Daily Knowledge: James Forten (Day 13)
James Forten was born a free and served as a gunpowder boy during the American Revolution. Later in his life he established a very successful business manufacturing sails and invented an apparatus for managing skills. Forten invented a sail that provided greater maneuverability and speed. He never patented his sail, but in part because of his invention, his sail loft became one of the most prosperous in Philadelphia. Forten was one of founders of the free African Society in 1987 and was instrumental in founding the American Reform Society. The first Negro Convention was held in Philadelphia in 1830 and Forten was its chairman.