Arthur Boke
The First Known African American Born In Franklinton Ohio


More than 200 years ago, even before the city of Columbus was founded, a white woman was nursing a Black child in Franklinton what is now known as Columbus Ohio. (1803) Sarah Starling Sullivant, wife of Lucas Sullivant, a Deputy Surveyor and Founder of Franklinton, was the woman who nursed this black child who was the child? Arthur Boke, who was born in 1803 to a slave woman belonging to the Sullivant family in Franklinton Arthur’s mother abandoned him at birth. Sarah Sullivant had compassion on this helpless baby and nursed him along with her son William. Sarah named the baby Arthur Boke after one of Lucas‘s white military friends who happened to be passing through Ohio in 1803. about the time of Arthur‘s birth. Who was Arthur Boke and why should we consider his life? Arthur Boke was the first known African American Pioneer born in Franklinton 1803.

Arthur was adopted by the Sullivants and raised with their sons, William, Michael, Joseph (the youngest and Arthur’s nurse in later years) and a daughter. Sarah Anne . The valuable lesson we learn from Arthur’s Boke’s beginning is that it is a teaching tool in that it shows people of different colors can live and work together. Arthur was taught the skill of surveying by Lucas Sullivant, the only Father he knew, Being a slave Arthur was forbidden to learn to read and write. But Arthur was taught many skills by the Sullivants. The Sullivant Family (Arthur Boke included) lived together in Franklinton and now rest in Green lawn cemetery in the shadows of the Sullivant burial plot in Green lawn cemetery located on the Southwest side of Columbus, Ohio.
Arthur Boke Publication