Agrippa Hull, a free Black soldier who fought in the Revolutionary War, was the assistant of Polish military engineer Tadeusz Kosciuszko. At the age of 18, he enlisted for the American side in 1777.
He was assigned to Kosciuszko, who was in charge of the Patriot forces’ defenses. Hull would be involved in a number of southern conflicts. Hull was offered the opportunity to join Kosciuszko in Poland once his work for Kosciuszko was completed, but he declined. Instead, he’d spend the rest of his time in the north.
Agrippa Hull worked in the medical corps near the end of his six-year service. It was here that he learned the fundamentals of surgery and medicine. Because of Hull’s devotion to the war cause, Kosciuszko became an abolitionist.
The interesting thing here was that he was a friend of Thomas Jefferson and left his wishes to him to carry out. Kosciuszko desired that his fortune be used to purchase the freedom of Black slaves in the United States. In 1817, Jefferson chose not to do so and instead gave the money to Kosciuszko’s family in Poland.
Agrippa Hull settled in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where Elizabeth Freeman also lived. He would work for abolitionist lawyer Theodore Sedgwick in the same house as Freeman. Using his savings, he purchased property throughout the town, eventually becoming one of Stockbridge’s 14 largest Black landowners. He farmed the land and was considered to be among the town’s top 40% of White landowners.
Hull did everything a good citizen was expected to do at the time. He went to church, conducted business fairly, was debt-free, and was a pillar of the community. He passed away on May 21, 1848, at the age of 89.