Samuel Fraunces (1722/23 – October 10, 1795) was an American restaurateur and the owner/operator of Fraunces Tavern in New York City. During the Revolutionary War, he provided for prisoners held during the seven-year British occupation of New York City (1776-1783), and claimed to have been a spy for the American side. At the end of the war, it was at Fraunces Tavern that General George Washington said farewell to his officers. Fraunces later served as steward of Washington's presidential household in New York City (1789–1790) and Philadelphia (1791–1794).

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  • Samuel Fraunces (1722/23 – October 10, 1795) was an American restaurateur and the owner/operator of Fraunces Tavern in New York City. During the Revolutionary War, he provided for prisoners held during the seven-year British occupation of New York City (1776-1783), and claimed to have been a spy for the American side. At the end of the war, it was at Fraunces Tavern that General George Washington said farewell to his officers. Fraunces later served as steward of Washington's presidential household in New York City (1789–1790) and Philadelphia (1791–1794). Since the mid-19th century, there has been a dispute over Fraunces's racial identity. According to his 1983 biographer, Kym S. Rice: "During the Revolutionary era, Fraunces was commonly referred to as 'Black Sam.' Some have taken references such as these as an indication that Fraunces was a black man. ...[W]hat is known of his life indicates he was a white man." Some 19th- and 20th-century sources described Fraunces as "a negro man" (1838), "swarthy" (1878), "mulatto" (1916), "Negro" (1916), "coloured" (1930), "fastidious old Negro" (1934), and "Haitian Negro" (1962), but most of these date from more than a century after his death. As Rice noted in her Documentary History of Fraunces Tavern (1985): "Other than the appearance of the nickname, there are no known references where Fraunces was described as a black man" during his lifetime. The familiar oil-on-canvas portrait, long identified as depicting Samuel Fraunces and exhibited at Fraunces Tavern since 1913, was recently discredited by new evidence. German historian Arthur Kuhle found a portrait of the same sitter in a Dresden museum in 2017, and suspects that the sitter had been a member of Prussian king Frederick the Great's royal court. (en)
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  • Samuel Fraunces (1722/23 – October 10, 1795) was an American restaurateur and the owner/operator of Fraunces Tavern in New York City. During the Revolutionary War, he provided for prisoners held during the seven-year British occupation of New York City (1776-1783), and claimed to have been a spy for the American side. At the end of the war, it was at Fraunces Tavern that General George Washington said farewell to his officers. Fraunces later served as steward of Washington's presidential household in New York City (1789–1790) and Philadelphia (1791–1794). (en)
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  • Samuel Fraunces (en)
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  • male (en)
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