Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701—1773), also known as Job ben Solomon, was a famous Muslim who was a victim of the Atlantic slave trade. Born in Futa Bundu in present day senegal.

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Ayuba came from a prominent Fulbe family of Muslim religious leaders. His grandfather had founded the town of Futa Bundu, and he grew up with Samba Geladio Diegui the heir (kamalenku) to the Kingdom of Futa-Toro. In 1730,
Ayub was a victim of the ever-growing slave exploitation of the Senegambia region. Ayuba and his interpreter “Lamine Njie,” were near the River Gambia to trade slaves and paper. While visiting some friends on their return trip, Ayuba and Njie were captured by invading Raiders.
The two men were sold to factors of the Royal African Company. Ayuba subsequently convinced English Captain Pike of his high social status, and explained his father was capable of paying his ransom. Pike granted Ayuba leave to find someone to send word to Ayuba’s family.
Since the messenger did not return in time, at the behest of Captain Henry Hunt, Pike’s superior, Ayuba and Lamin were sent across the Atlantic to Annapolis, Maryland, where he was delivered to another factor, Vachell Denton.
Ayuba was then purchased by Mr. Tolsey of Kent Island, Maryland. Ayuba was initially put to work in the tobacco fields; however, after being found unsuitable for such work, he was placed in charge of the cattle. While in captivity, Ayuba used to go into the woods to pray.
However, after being humiliated by a child while praying, Ayuba ran away and was captured and imprisoned at the Kent County Courthouse. It was there that he was discovered by a lawyer Thomas Bluett of the Anglican Society traveling through on business.
The lawyer was impressed by Ayuba's ability to write in Arabic. In the narrative, Bluett writes the following:
Upon our Talking and making Signs to him, he wrote a Line or two before us, and when he read it, pronounced the Words Allah and Mahommed;
by which, and his refusing a Glass of Wine we offered him, we perceived he was a Mahometan, but could not imagine of what Country he was, or how he got thither; for by his affable Carriage, and the easy Composure of his Countenance, we could perceive he was no common Slave.
When another African who spoke Wolof, a language of a neighboring African ethnic group, was able to translate for him, it was then discovered that he had aristocratic blood.
Encouraged by the circumstances, Mr. Tolsey allowed Ayuba to write a letter in Arabic to Africa to send to his father. Eventually, the letter reached the office of James Oglethorpe, Director of the Royal African Company.
After having the letter authenticated by John Gagnier, the Laudian Chair of Arabic at Oxford, Oglethorpe purchased Ayuba for ₤45.

According to his own account, Oglethorpe was moved with sentiment upon hearing the suffering Ayuba had endured.
Oglethorpe purchased Ayuba and sent him to the London office of the Royal African Company in London. Bluett and Ayuba traveled to England in 1733. During the journey Ayuba learned to communicate in English.
However emotionally swayed his letters claimed him to be, Oglethorpe was not so conscientious to leave instructions with the London office of the RAC concerning what to do with Ayuba upon his arrival in late April 1733.
Ayuba, however, faced later hardships. In June 1736, he was imprisoned or held as a parolee by the French. Ayuba may have been targeted by the French because of his alliances with the British.
He was held perhaps for a year by the French, when Ayuba's local countrymen, rather than the British, secured his release. He later sent letters to the London RAC to visit London, but this request was denied.
His death was recorded in the minutes of the Spalding Gentleman's Society in 1773
Notably, none of Ayuba’s English contemporaries mention the conditions and experience of Ayuba and Loumein during the Middle Passage. Ayuba continued to press London factors for Lamin’s freedom.
Due to Ayuba’s commitment and the help of Bluett, Lamin was eventually returned to the Gambia region in 1738.

Composed by :Kemo Bojang
Reference : Turner, Richard Brent (2003). Islam in the African-American Experience. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 25–26.; and Allan D. Austin, African Muslims in Antebellum America: transatlantic stories and spiritual struggles (London: Routledge, 1997), page 61.

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14 Jun
#ProfilesOfEminentGambians
Born in 1742 to a sarahuli family that lived In Wuli, Fenda was described as a free woman of material substance and a considerable slave trader who lived in Kaur. She migrated to Georgia USA in May 1772 in search of a better life.
Her father worked at a British owned factory around the coast like Wulitenda, Bansang tenda and Nianija. Where her mother worked as a maid for white traders. The numerous Mulatto women traders who operated up river must have inspired Fenda into trading.
Although she wasn’t mixed, she nonthless belonged to the singnara class because of her wealth and European husband named James Lawrence who was the employer of her parents in Kaur. James being away most of the time, Fenda ran the business in Nianimaro and Kaur.
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