Lorain Carter and the Delaware: An In-Depth Look


Throughout U.S. history, those who stand for justice and fairness have been met with resistance and often little reward. Despite this, the voices of many brave individuals continue to be heard and their stories are woven into the fabric of our nation’s history. According to a 2017 study by the National Archives and Records Administration, over 8 million Americans had ancestors who were enslaved in the United States. One of these individuals, Lorain Carter, was able to escape enslavement in Delaware, find freedom in Pennsylvania, and campaigned for the rights of free Blacks and African Americans. This article is an in-depth look at the story and legacy of Lorain Carter and the Delaware.

Background of Lorain Carter

Lorain Carter, also referred to as Loring Carter and Laury Carter, was born around 1785 in Delaware near the Brandywine River. His father, whose name is unknown, was reportedly born in Africa and brought to America as an enslaved person. Not much is known about his mother, possibly because it was common practice for lifetimes of enslaved persons to be undocumented. 

Lorain Carter was legally tied to the Jesse and Eleazer Bunting family who enslaved him and his siblings. This family were descendants of the William and Mary Bunting family who had a farm just miles away from the Brandywine River.

Lorain experienced a difficult life on the Bunting’s farm. During this time, he was said to have been whipped numerous times for minor misconduct and even more for attempting to escape. Despite the abuse he suffered, Lorain was determined to make his way to freedom.

Escape to Freedom 

In 1809, after enduring years of captivity, Lorain used the opportunity of Jesse Bunting going to Virginia to escape from Delaware. He then made his way to Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he ended up being apprehended by an armed posse. Thankfully, he escaped without any physical harm and continued his journey to more secure grounds in Pennsylvania. Weeks later, Lorain reached Bucks County, where he sought out the help of non-Quakers and Quakers who were collectivley aiding the abolitionist cause.

Once in Bucks County, Lorain was welcomed by different abolitionist groups and individuals such as the antislavery societies of Upper and Lower Dublin and Byberry. In the fall of 1810, the Byberry Society of Society of Friends granted a certificate of freedom to Lorain, officially setting him free.


Once set free, Lorain resolutely dedicated himself to fighting for the rights of African Americans, free Blacks, and all enslaved persons in the United States. He was an active member of many local societies, including the Byberry and Newtown Literary Societies. During Lorain’s 10-year stay in Bucks County, he became a revered leader within the community and was known for his storytelling capabilities, eloquence, and wisdom. 

Not much is known about his career post 1819, although he continued to remain active in the Quakers for abolitionist causes until his death in 1856. The exact cause of his death is unclear and may have been related to his ongoing advocacy for African American rights. 


The story of Lorain Carter and the Delaware is a remarkable and inspiring example of one person’s fight for freedom. Even throughout a lifetime of enslavement, Lorain was able to maintain a spirit of hope and resilience, ultimately resulting in his emancipation and an influential post-slavery career. Ultimately, Lorain reminds us of the power of fighting for what you believe in and speaks to the importance of protecting the rights of all people. 


Q: Who was Lorain Carter? 

A: Lorain Carter was a man who was born in Delaware near the Brandywine River around 1785 who was enslaved by the Jesse and Eleazer Bunting family. In 1809, he escaped from Delaware and made his way to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he was granted a certificate of freedom. Following his emancipation, Lorain dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of African Americans, free Blacks, and all enslaved persons in the United States. 

Q: How did Lorain Carter escape from Delaware? 

A: Lorain Carter was able to escape from Delaware when Jesse Bunting, who enslaved him and his siblings, left for Virginia. He remained in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, until eventually granted a certificate of freedom.

Q: What legacy did Lorain Carter leave behind? 

A: Lorain Carter left behind a legacy of resilience, perseverance, and courage. He demonstrated that even through the difficult times of enslavement, it is possible to find independence and stand up for the rights of all people.

Related Examples

Lorain Carter is not the only person to illustrate this story of determination and courage. Other famous figures involved in the fight against enslavement include Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass. In addition, some of the Underground Railroad’s most influential safe havens to freedom are located in Delaware, such as Wilmington and New Castle. These locations served as sanctuaries for many abolitionists and freedom fighters on their journey to freedom.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *