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Coah was born in Africa about the same year that James Dinsmore was born in New Hampshire. He was kidnapped as a young adult and taken to Louisiana where he was bought by the Minor family. He was sent with other slaves owned by the Minors to work on the plantation in Louisiana in 1829. There he met and married Winny who had been purchased by Silas Dinsmoor years earlier. Because of financial difficulties, Silas had been forced to sell Winny and James Dinsmore bought her but always considered her to belong to Silas. When James and Martha moved to Kentucky, James paid William J. Minor for Coah so the couple would both be in Boone County, though separated by a mile. There is no evidence that they had any children. When Coah died, James bought a shroud for him rather than a coffin. This probably reflected the custom Coah remembered from his childhood, as do the flat rocks over their remains.