He Fled to Boston, For Freedom

January 27, 2016

Filmmaker: Roberto Mighty

At about age 36, Peter Byus (b. unverified, d. 1867) escaped slavery in Virginia and settled in Boston. Against all odds, he became a man of means. His monument depicts a bondsman breaking free from his chains, and is based on the seal of the British Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade.  Voice: Tyrone Latin  Special Thanks: Stephen Pinkerton, Docent, for historical research and image of last will and testament. Music: Chris Zabriskie “There’s Probably No Time” Performed by Chris Zabriskie.

“I find Peter Byus’ will very moving. His words – excerpted here from almost 150 years ago – ring out a message of tragedy, hope and uplift to us all. It was an honor to bring his story into the modern era.” – Roberto Mighty, Artist-in-Residence

earth.sky, a multi-screen presentation 52 minutes in length, starts with the story of Peter Byus, a fugitive slave from Virginia who escaped to Massachusetts. The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery is still fundraising to support the completion of Mighty’s project, which will be available as a GPS-tagged exhibition on Mount Auburn’s new mobile app slated to launch in 2017.


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