Jacob was the son of Fortune and Dinah, born on May
27, 1786. Jacob's birth was entered into the town records
by Dr. Preserved Porter, as was required by a 1788 law
to ensure that Jacob would be emancipated on his 24th
birthday. Jacob's parents and older brother, Africa, were
slaves for life. Jacob also had two sisters, Mira and
Roxa, who were also eligible for emancipation.
Jacob was 12 years old when his father died. It is not
known what happened to Jacob following his father's death.