Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail
143 Pleasant Street
Cyrus Bruce was emancipated by John Langdon, after which he worked for him as a paid servant. This arrangement was underway by 1783, when Langdon was building this mansion on Pleasant Street. Cyrus received part of his pay in cash, part in goods, and by 1797 part in housing. Cyrus and his wife, the former Flora Stoodley, lived behind the mansion n one of two houses Governor Langdon owned on Washington Street. Cyrus served as Langdon's valet and butler. His impressive costume of dark broadcloth coat, ruffles, silk stockings, silver buckled shoes, and gold chain with seals preserved Cyrus' memory in his own right. Cyrus was no doubt present when George Washington had dinner at the Langdon's in November 1789. Flora left her former master's North Church for St. John's Episcopal Church. On January 21, 1798, after being instructed and examined by the Reverend Willard, Flora was baptized.
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