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Two other physicians of former times who were widely known were Dr. John Richmond, who lived near the Congregational Church. He died while attending a patient in the parish of Westchester in 1821. The other, Dr. Robert Usher, lived in the east part of the town within the parish of Westchester at an earlier date. He was a surgeon in Wadsworth's regiment at Cambridge, Mass., and after a long, useful life died in 1820, aged 77


It will be noticed by the changes which time, and death, and other mutations make, that the population of places are subject to, that few of the old names of families who founded Chatham are now represented in the list of inhabitants. There are some in almost every town, for it is not yet three centuries since this part of America was visited and settled upon by Europeans.

First among men are the builders of towns, of states, of nations and empires. In addition to those already mentioned, whose names should perpetually be remembered as founders of Chatham are some, who though coming later, have

added to its material prosperity. In the East Hampton Society are the names of Sears, Abel, Buell, Veazey, Watrous, Abbe, Ackley, Cone, and the later Bevins of the immediate past; William, Isaac, Chauncey, Abner and Major Philo Bevin. Augustus H. Conklin and Joel W. Smith, D. W. Watrous, Elijah Barton, H. G. Clark, who have been for years foremost men in public affairs, and always working for the welfare of the village, are still living. Thomas Sellew and his descendants, John Markham and his descendants, John Purple, and of the latter times Mr. N. N. Hill, and the Starr Brothers and the present members of the Bevin Mfg. Co. In the latter establishment are men who have been in their steady employment as skilled workmen for more than forty years. These daily toilers who carry on the work are an important factor in the prosperity of the place, standing in the same relation as the rank and file, in the make-up of an army. It is a pleasant fact to record that the relations of owners and workers in this town have been exceptionally pleasant, and the place is free from the disturbances which are common to some New England towns.



O love, the sea runs out beyond the bar,
The sea runs out across the lonely sand;
He takes his beauty and his strength afar,
Unto a greener land—another land.

O love, the sea runs out; the darkness Hoar

Comes down with all the stars upon her track: Sleep sweet, fear nothing,-to the silver shore

The dawn will creep, and the bright waves flee back.




ONTRARY to the usual notion the first slaves in Connecticut were not chiefly negroes, but Indians taken in battle and afterwards distributed among the settlers. The first Pequot War, for instance, furnished a large number, even a superfluity of servants of this character. There is, however, reason to believe that the two institutions of Indian and Negro slavery co-existed for a period : for in the famous "Articles of Confederation" of 1643 provision was made for the distribution among the inhabitants of "persons, as well as lands and goods, taken in the spoils of war." Whether, on the other hand, the deed given by William Holmes of Windsor, in 1638, to Matthew Allyn of Hartford, wherein he speaks of all "the lands, houses, servants, goods, etc.," meant Negro or Indian slaves, or servants pure and simple, we cannot say but it is certain that Africans were introduced into the Colonies as early as 1620, and the fact that slavery existed in New Haven Colony in 1644 shows that the custom was rooted in the earliest history of the state. It must very be said in extenuation that the early settlers were but following the practice obtaining in England, their mother country, from the time of Elizabeth, with the difference that the slaves in England were not black, but white; again, that if we were among the first to introduce African slavery, we were among the first to abolish that institution.

Benjamin Trumbull, the eminent historian, maintained that the first black slave owned in Connecticut was Louis Berbice,

killed at the Dutch Fort in Hartford by Gysbert Opdyke in 1639. It is certain that ownership negroes was common among the leading statemen of our early history. Theophilus Eaton, the first gov ernor of New Haven Colony; JohnTalcott of Hartford; Edward Hopkins, second governor of Connecticut Colony, and founder of the famous Hopkins Grammar Schools, were all owners of slaves. John Pantry of Hartford owned them, and the inventories of the estates of Col. George Fenwick in 1660, and of John Latimer in 1662, show those eminent gentlemen to be in a like category. Not only so, but many even of the leading clergymen were slave owners, and many deacons, the highest both in church and in state. The saintly John Davenport, pastor at New Haven, the accomplished and versatile Joseph Elliott of Guilford, the Rev. Timothy Woodbridge of Hartford, Rev. Jared Elliott of Killingworth, Rev. Nathaniel Chauncey of Durham, and the Rev. William Worthington of Saybrook all owned slaves and disposed of them in their wills as of any other property.

What the status of slave ownership was, and how strongly the custom was upheld by the officers of state, a case which came up for trial before the County Court in Hartford, in 1703, well illustrates. A slave, Abda by name, the property of Capt. Thomas Richards of Hartford, escaped and was sheltered by Capt. Joseph Wadsworth of the same town. This gentleman opposed a constable's executing a writ of arrest on Abda, and Abda brought a

counter suit against Capt. Richards, claiming damages, twenty pounds sterling; the verdict of the court rested with Abda, for it awarded him damages of twelve pounds and virtually established his freedom. That the fact that the slave was a mulatto, the son of an Englishman, had probably weighed with the court, no doubt influenced the General Court to whom the case was appealed in October, 1704. Here the former decision was reversed and the fugitive was ordered to be returned to his master. The opinion of the governor, Gurdon Saltonstall, himself a minister of the gospel, is very interesting, as showing the executive's belief in the practice. He said, "According to the laws and constant practice of this Colony, and all other plantations, (as well as the civil law) such persons as are born of negro bondwomen are themselves in like condition, that is born in servitude. Yet it saith expressly, that no man shall put away or make free his negro or mulatto slave, etc., which undeniably shows and declares an approbation of such servitude, and that mulattos may be held as slaves within this government." Yet it does not appear that individuals owned so large numbers of slaves in early times as in later years, for the largest owner in the colony was Godfrey Malbone, a wealthy gentleman, a graduate of Oxford, and a resident of Brooklyn. Dr. Fowler asserts that he had between fifty and sixty slaves on his extensive estate, which was modeled on the English fashion, and that descendants of them were living as late as 1874. We have seen that clergymen owned slaves and that Rev. Gurdon Saltonstall, as Governor, could find such ownership, even in the case of mulattos, legal and commendable. George Whitfield, an able English divine, and close friend of the elder Jonathan Edwards, went so far as to recommend the use of slaves; and it

stands on record that the learned Ezra Stiles, president of Yale college, "once sent a barrel of rum by a slave ship to the coast of Africa to be exchanged for a negro, and one was procured and brought home to him to Newport." This nefarious business of importing slaves, (which the learned and pious Stiles thus consciously or unconsciously abetted) was very lucrative, for a slave in the early part of the last century brought from sixty shillings to twenty-five pounds, and later from seventy-five to one hundred and twenty-five pounds, sterling; but the trade was usually clandestine.

In the opinion of one authority, slave traders were usually ashamed of their vocation and in some instances denied being engaged in it, but not a few mariners amassed large fortunes in the traffic. The slaves most prized were those imported from Guinea; for they were, according to the best reports, the most intelligent and altogether the most desirable. These, more than others, formed their habits according to the standard of morality of the masters; attended church regularly, and led altogether exemplary lives. How far the master's influence extended is shown by the fact that the slaves of the clergy of Connecticut were distinguished for their Puritan piety and their high appreciation of civil and religious liberty."

This condition of things possibly arose from the imitativeness of the blacks as well as from the patriarchial nature of the institution. So much was the slave a part of the family that in every meeting house there was an "African corner" where the slave must sit while attending divine service. In one town, to be sure, the seats were hidden from the rest of the congregation by a tall board partition. It was even the custom in Puritan families to catechise the slaves Sunday noon regarding

the sermon preached in the morning, a simple method by which many an ignorant black learned the fundamental truths of christianity. Such authority as this would indicate, and the freedom accorded by the statues to the masters gave them, golden opportunities to be rigid if they so desired. That these privileges were not abused is attested by the extraordinary affection which often existed between owner and servant.

If the slaves were imitative in these more serious lines much more were they in their amusements. We read, for instance, in early colonial history of balls given by the blacks of a town, events of much pomp and splendor; military training days of a rather uncertain character and on a greatly reduced scale were regularly held; the slaves even went so far as to hold an annual election for governor.

This event, Dr. Steiner says, was "unique to Connecticut." At any rate it has been given considerable prominence in local histories, and although the whole proceeding was hardly more than a huge farce, it was of some importance at the time. It seems that there were negro governors in several towns and that each was really at the head of the slaves in that immediate vicinity. Dr. Fowler makes mention of a negro governor in the little town of Durham and Miss Caulkins gives a graphic description of an election in Norwich. There was evidently a governor in the capitol of the state, one in Derby and one in Norwich, but although it is highly possible that they existed elsewhere I have found no mention of them. Whether there was one governor who exercised authority over all other "governors" throughout the state or not, it is impossible to say. Some writers seem to think that this was the case, but after a thorough investigation of the subject I am unable to find it to be a certainty.

But the annual election of these governors usually took place the Saturday after Election Day; according to Steiner it took place as late as 1820, but other writers give a later date. The candidate was elected largely by proxy; he was usually one of much note-of imposing presence, strength, firmness and volubility; who was quick to decide, ready to command and able to flog. This last was probably a very important qualification. He was the adjustor of serious disputes among the negroes, imposed fines and penalties for “ gross and immoral conduct" and acted as a sort of supreme arbiter among his people. He displayed every evidence of regal authority; some of them even claimed descent from the kings of Africa. Miss Caulkins tells us that in the cemetery at Norwich was a gravestone with the following inscription thereon: "In memory of Boston Trouwt Row, Governor of the African tribe in this town, who died 1772, aged 66." She adds, "After the death of this person, Sam Huntington (slave to the governor of that name) was annually elected to this dignity for a much greater number of years than his honorable namesake and master was to the gubernatorial chair of this state."

After the negro governor was declared elected and inducted into office, if such it might be called, the whole black population formed an "election parade," in which the borrowed horses, saddles and trappings of their masters figured prominently. The Black King, as he was graciously dubbed, was escorted through the streets of the town while the din of fiddles, fifes, drums and brass horns filled the air with an unearthly noise which the blacks themselves modestly described as a "martial sound." "It was amusing to see the sham dignity, after his election, riding through the town on one of his

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master's horses, adorned with plated gear. An aide rode on either side and the governor, puffing and swelling with pride, sat bolt upright, moving with a slow majestic pace, as if the universe was looking on. When he mounted or dismounted an aide flew to his assistance, holding his bridle, putting his feet into the stirrups and bowing to the ground before him. The great Mogul in a triumphal procession never assumed an air of more perfect self importance than did the negro governor at such a time." After the parade the slaves repaired to a room where a great feast was spread, of which they all partook, and it was not unusual for the day's performance to end in a drunken riot.

On the whole, the ordinary slave without an overseer was a lazy, improvident individual. He was often an excellent cook; often he played the less important role of amusement maker to his master. One owned by the Rev. Jonathan Todd, minister in East Guilford, (now Madison) was so expert a fiddler that on many occasions the parson invited the young people of the village to his house" to hear Tom play on his fiddle." But in general the slave was his master's ward, and it is not difficult to realize that slaves in Connecticut, held during the eighteenth century, were far better off than after emancipation. Professor Fowler tells us that they were kindly treated in most cases, that every slave holder was bound by custom to furnish negroes with clothing, food, and to care for them when by reason of old age they were unable to care for themselves. The early records of New Haven Colony, for instance, makes mention of John Cram and Lucretia his wife, slaves to Governor Theophilus Eaton. They became old and refractory so that their master set apart for their use two acres of ground on which he caused to be erected a comfortable house. There the

old pair lived and died happy and contented.

The negro nature being what it was, it was impossible that the slave's privileges should be far reaching. Sometimes a slave might, upon the death of his master, choose with which sen he wished to live, but of public privileges, at least in the early part of the eighteenth century, he had none.

In 1717 the freemen of New London, in a town meeting largely attended, voted to "utterly oppose and protest against Robert Jacklin, a negro, buying any land in the town, or being an inhabitant." They sent a strongly worded petition to the General Assembly urging that body to pass a law that, "no person of that color (black) may ever have any possessions within the government." Their application met with speedy approval, for the month following the Assembly passed a bill, "prohibiting negroes purchasing land without liberty from the town," and, adds Trumbull, "from living in families of their own without such liberty." Later in the century the status of the slave had slightly changed; there was an agitation for emancipation, and the slave himself had earned a further title to respect by his service in the Revolutionary war.

The first official record concerning his employment in the Continental Army was in 1777 when the General Assembly appointed a committee "to take into consideration the state and condition of the negro and mulatto slave in this State, and what may be done for their emancipation."

The Hon. Matthew Griswold was the chairman of a committee which reported in effect as follows: If slaves could obtain by "bounty or hire" a sum to be paid their masters, which would equal in value the sum they were judged to be worth by the selectmen of the town, they should be allowed to enlist in the Connecticut Line

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