Austin Steward 1793 - 1860
Austin Steward was born in Prince William County, Virginia, to Robert and Susan Steward, and was seven years old when he became a house servant on the plantation of Capt. William Helm. Steward taught himself to read in secrecy, for which he was severely beaten. In 1814 he escaped and ran away to Rochester, New York, where in 1817 he created a successful business, opening his own meat market and acquiring considerable property.