George Washington Kemp, Leeds, ca. 1890

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Description

George Washington "Wash" Kemp, pronounced "Camp," came to Maine early in January 1865 with Capt. Charles H. Howard. Kemp, a former slave who had escaped to Union lines early in the Civil War, was to stay in Leeds and assist Howard's widowed mother on her farm.

Howard and Kemp (1833-1911) arrived with a pony, a birthday gift for the nine-year-old son of Gen. O.O. Howard, Charles Howard's older brother.

A year after Kemp's arrival, the Howards helped to find Kemp's wife and two young children, and brought them to Maine. The Kemp family later moved to its own farm in Leeds.

The family was well known throughout Maine and New England as Jubilee singers, who traveled around singing plantation-style music.


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