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Published by NLCHS, 2019-04-06 18:23:02

NLCHS Spring Newsletter

New London County Historical Society Sprin

Spring 2019

Two Thomases What’s Inside Page 5 - Benedict Arnold’s Page 7 - Message from Asso-
Privateering Past ciate Director
By: Patricia Schaefer, Volunteer Page 3 - President’s Message
Page 4 - Historical Hotspot Page 7- Caesar Shaw : Free- Page 8 - Joshua Hempstead
man & Mariner Diary Update
Page 9 - Upcoming Events

In the last newsletter, I wrote Image of New London circa 1813
about a few children who have
headstones in the old burying ground and baptized May 25th.. She grew up of Thomas’s estate was taken a
without there being a stone for parents and married, first, Samuel Griffin, couple of weeks later.. The Roffs had
or other members of the family.. This and in 1737 Sylvanus Miner. at least four children baptized in the
time we’ll cover two other children, First Church, the last one being Jane
both named Thomas, who do not have The senior Averys appear to in 1722.. The others were John,
other family members with headstones have lived in what became New Mary, and Jonathan.. I do not know
in the burying ground.. Both were London North Parish in 1723, and the if there were no other children or if
named after their fathers, although the separate town of Montville in 1784.. the Roffs also lived in the North
circumstances of their lives were quite Thomas Sr. was the son of another Parish and switched membership
different. Thomas and his first wife Hannah when the church there was gathered
(Miner), and was born in 1679.. He in 1723.. Ann was taken into the
The first of them is Thomas sold land in Saybrook in 1703 and church at New London (became a
Avery, whose headstone reads, “Here 1706, the first time referring to full member) in June of 1718
lyeth the body of Thomas Avery, who himself as “of Saybrook” and then
departed this life July the 3rd, 1712, in “of New London.” The Roffs had a few more
the 8th year of his age.”. “Eighth year” years together than the Averys had
meant that he was seven.. Joshua Thomas senior died about had, but June 15th. of 1729 Ann was
Hempstead’s diary gives more two years before his son.. His widow, published to James Morgan of
information:. “Thursd. 3d fair hot.. I Ann, married Jonathan Roff
was at Groaton all day with Brothr November 24, 1711.. The inventory (Continued on page 2)

Plumbe Laying out Lots att Nowayank
[Noank]. a very hot day. Little Thomas
Avery drownded in a Swimming.”. On
Saturday 5th he records, “Tho Avery
was buryed yesterday after Lecture.”.
Lectures were held on a Thursday or
Friday before a Sunday on which
Communion, or “Sacrament” as
Hempstead called it, was served to full
church members during the
Congregational worship service..

Thomas was the son of.

Thomas and Ann (Shapley) Avery, part
of the vast clan of Averys who lived
locally.. Thomas and Ann lived in New
London.. They had been married in
1704.. Son Thomas was born March 31,
1705, and baptized July 22 of that year..
Daughter Ann was born May 12, 1707,

NLCHS Spring 2019 Newsletter 860.443.1209 | | [email protected]

Two Thomases frequently off by a year or two on the Hempstead’s mentions of
age of someone who had died, Thomas begin in January of 1725,
Part 2 cont’d especially children.) when he found him and his brother
Ralph “getting Timber for Staves”
Groton, and married June 24th.. It would be interesting to on Mr. Winthrop’s land.. His next
Hempstead had business dealings with know who paid for Thomas’s mention is of the death of Mary
her a couple of years later, which was headstone.. Hempstead’s telling of the Dart’s child.. Three years later, “an
unusual.. Usually wives were situation indicates that not only did Infant of Thos Fergoes Still born
mentioned only when acting for their Thomas Fergo not marry Mary Dart, buried between meetings” on
husbands, but March 23, 1731, but he refused to acknowledge Sunday, March 20th 1737..
Hempstead says, “…I Paid Ms Ann paternity (“sd to be”).. This means Unfortunately, there’s no mention of
Morgan formerly Roff £4 8s 0d for Jos either that Mary did not sue him for when Thomas was married, which
Lesters debt for Sheep & Rent.. 6s 0d would let us know if he had been
of it I pd Brother Plumb & 7s 11d to support of the child, or that she did married when he fathered Mary’s
my Self Roffs Debts.”. She seems to and lost the case.. The legal system of child.. (Adultery was a very serious
have been managing her late that day was concerned with bastardy crime, but it depended solely on the
husband’s property, possibly as because of the possible charge on the marital status of the woman.. Since
executor of the estate and guardian of public.. If Thomas was not compelled Mary was not married, they would
the children. to pay for the child’s upkeep, Mary, have been committing the lesser
and presumably her father, would crime of fornication.). The next
Ann died June 17, 1751.. have been responsible until the child couple of entries about him were
Hempstead says on the 18th, was around five, when he could be concerned with measuring land and
“yesterday Died Ms Ann Morgan of “bound out” to another family to retrieving a cow..
Groton Relict of Deacon James raise.. If she or they could not support
morgan Decd.. aged about 68 I the child, some arrangement would be On June 14, 1741, Thomas
Supose.. She was Daughter of made for either family members to was one of nine “Grown persons
Benjamin Shaply ye first of this Town. chip in, or the town to pay for his Baptized” by Mr. Adams.. This was
… I Set outt for Stonington by ye way expenses until age five. Since the during the Great Awakening, a
of Poquonuck in order to attend the child was considered an “idiot”, religious revival that had a powerful
funeral of Ms Morgan wch by the which was a legal term signifying an effect on many who had not bothered
desire of her Children was deferred inability to maintain one’s self when with baptism or church membership
untill to morrow at one of the Clock P. an adult, it might have been hard to before.. An Ann Fergo was listed by
M.”. He did not attend the funeral.. find a family willing to take him. Hempstead right next to Thomas in
Probably he considered showing up at the baptisms noted.. This probably
the expected time to be enough of a It is difficult to be certain of was Thomas’s wife, but he did have
show of respect.. Ann Morgan is much information about either of an older sister named Ann.
buried in the Morgan/Avery Cemetery Thomas’s parents, especially Mary.. The next few diary entries
off Rte. 1. The Morgan children would Hempstead has several mentions of a mentioning Thomas were again
have been baptized at the Groton Mary Dart(e), but they do not appear about land, then in December, 1755,
Congregational Church, the one of to be the same person.. Thomas we “Thos Fargoes Eldest Son aged
which their father was deacon.. I was can find out a little more about, with (Died).”[sic]. Three months later, on
unable to locate any online records of the caveat that all of the mentions of March 27, “record of births to Moses
their baptisms.. The original records him in Hempstead’s diary appear to and Sarah.
are at the state archives in Hartford. be the same person, but may not be.
The other Thomas’s headstone reads, Moses Fargo, Thomas’s father, was Thos fergoes youngest Son
“Here lyeth the body of Thomas born in Wales in 1649, and came to about 10 or 12 yr old was buryed.”.
Fergo, who Died July the 7th, 1734, Connecticut in 1668.. He married a There is nothing further about
aged 5 years ___ mo. ___ Ds.”. Sarah, last name unknown, and they Thomas in the diary. Two Thomases,
Hempstead again provides more two very different short lives.. All
information, “Mond. 8th. [July, 1734] had nine children, of which Thomas that they seem to have in common is
fair & hot. … a Bastard Child of Mary was the eighth.. He was born in 1699.. that someone loved them enough to
Dartes Daughter of Ricd Darte was Moses lived in the North Parish and arrange for a headstone.
buried 3 or 4 yr old an Idiot Sd to be died, as Hempstead says, “an old man
Thos fergos.…”. (Hempstead was above 83 in the 84th,” in August, Contact us for a list of references
used in this article.

NLCHS Spring 2019 Newsletter 2

President’s Message

The staff and the board have been very busy over the past several months in
designing innovative programs to appeal to young and old alike. Our goal is to
design programs that are fun and that make history relevant and interesting.

The first program was a "murder mystery dinner" that occurred at the Shaw Mansion
on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The plot was built around a prequel, so to speak, of
the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The event was sold out and the forty some
odd people who attended really seemed to enjoy the event. I thank Steve and Regan
for their creativity and hard work in organizing and hosting the event.
Joseph J. Selinger
There is talk of doing another one, so please keep a lookout for it on our calendar.
Steve, Regan, our program committee and the Board have been working hard on putting together a new program that
is aimed at stimulating the interest of area fourth, fifth and sixth graders in the history of New London County. The
program will consist of three one-week summer camps in July 2019, each of which will be devoted to a different
topic: Benedict Arnold's Raid on New London and Groton, A Day in the Life of a 19th Century Child, and
Immigration and Ancestry. The camps will be led by college student interns under the guidance of Steve and Regan.
The goal will be to engage the campers in multifaceted active learning that will be both educational and fun. As an end
product, the students will create an exhibit involving artifacts and archives from our collection, which we hope will be
displayed at the Shaw Mansion and other venues in the community.

Students will work as a team to acquire basic research skills using secondary sources available on the Internet
and primary sources from our archives and artifacts. We successfully obtained a grant from Pfizer in the amount of
$4000 to help fund a portion of the time and overhead that we will invest in the camp. The student tuition for a one-
week camp is $100, which we hope will be appealing and affordable to parents and guardians of the age group that we
are seeking to attract. We also are going to offer "camperships" to qualified students and we are hopeful that our
members will step up and make special contributions to fund $100 camperships for deserving students. Anyone who is
interested can feel free to contact Steve or Regan on how to donate to fund a campership for deserving students.

We continue to seek ways in which preserve the best of NLCHS in the form of the Shaw Mansion and
artifacts and archives that compose our collection, while bringing new programs, services and activities to the
community. As always, we appreciate your input and support.

2019 Annual Appeal

Generous donors like you allow us to continue
our mission of preserving and interpreting the
past for our community in southeastern
Connecticut.. Since 1870, we have been a
resource for researchers and visitors locally,
nationally, and internationally who call and visit
us throughout the year. The support of our
patrons enables us to create programs and events
that enhance the rich cultural history of our
county.. Moreover, our diverse collection is made
accessible through the support and generosity of
our patrons. Contact us to learn how you can
donate today.

3 860.443.1209 | | [email protected]

New London County. Historical Society
Incorporated 1870

Officers Address
Joseph J. Selinger, President 11 Blinman Street
Rebecca Parmer, Vice President New London, Connecticut 06320
Jayne Michalek, Treasurer
Board of Directors 860.443.1209
Ed Chmielewski | [email protected]
Dan Connors
Robert Farwell Social Connections
Alieen Novick Facebook: @NLCHS.ShawMansion
Tony Sabilia
Emily Winters Twitter: ShawMansion1756
YouTube: New London County Historical Society
Steven Manuel, Executive Director
Regan Miner,. Associate Director

Volunteer with us! Historical Hot Spot

We are always looking for volunteers to help within the
society and at the mansion.. Interested in gardens?
Come and learn about gardening by working in our
historic garden.. Perhaps you prefer history.. Become
one of our docents and help increase our tour offerings.
For more details email [email protected].

NLCHS Spring 2019 Newsletter This letter, in the collections of NLCHS, is from the
late 18th century. Sarah Wheat, a resident of New
London, requests that the town Selectmen grant a
certificate of emancipation to Susanna, a local
African-American slave woman. Wheat had been
asked to do so by Susanna’s owner, Captain John
Deshon, citing that she “is Desirous to be made
free”. This historical hot spot is brought to you by
our great intern Rudy.


Benedict Arnold’s Privateering

By: Steve Manuel, Executive Director

From Benedict Arnold to Nathaniel Shaw Jr. on August
10, 1780

“Dear Sir, Letter to Nathaniel Shaw Jr. from Benedict Arnold in
I have taken the liberty of enclosing sundry the collection of NLCHS

letters, bills sale etc.; by which it appears that Capt am requested by him and the other owners to beg the
Joseph Packwood in August 1778 sold to Capt Thomas favor of you to inquire into the matter and make a
Truxton one fourth part of the sloop John with her cargo.. settlement with Capt. Packwood which you think just &
Amounting to £1070, lawful money, for which amount reasonable.. If you should differ in sentiment with him I
Capt. Truxton drew on me (then in Philadelphia) which beg you will submit the affair to arbitration which I
draught I stood ready to honor when presented; it also conceive he can have no reasonable objection to.— It is
appears by Capt. Packwood’s letter that he had no doubt the wish of the owners if the vessel is in being, and not
of the draughts being honored. It also appears by the sold, to have their quarter part sold, the account closed
papers that the sloop made one voyage and returned safe and the balance remitted to me at this place by post or
from the West Indies in March 1779 with a cargo of rum, any safe private conveyance,
sugar, & Molasses; — How many voyages she has made
since, or what has become of her, I have never heard.. Your compliance will be esteemed a very
Capt. Truxton informs me that Capt. Packwood wrote particular favor done
him some time since, requesting him to draw two
thousand pounds lawful money, part of the profits of the Dr. Sir
Voyage, and at the same time objected to his sharing in Your most Obedient Humble Servant
full proportion alleging for reasons, that the sloop was
not paid for when bought and that the money had greatly B. Arnold”
depreciated;. This is an objection that Capt. Packwood
has no right to make as it was his own neglect (not the Benedict Arnold was corresponding with
owners) that he did not present the draught and receive Nathaniel Shaw Jr. in his capacity as the Navy Agent for
the money, which lay ready for him, and Capt. Packwood the Continental Congress and the Colony of Connecticut..
has had the neat profits of the voyage in his hands, as The Arnold/Shaw relationship started several months
well as the vessel seventeen months.. It appears to me but prior when Shaw invited Arnold to purchase a share of
just after deducting the prime cost of the vessel and the General Putnam, a ship Shaw had built to engage in
cargo, the balance of the proceeds should be accounted privateering.. While the initial offer was appealing to
for by Capt. Packwood, and as he has had the vessel and Arnold, he had to decline because the cost rose to an
balance in his hands and to his use since her arrival in
March of 1779 or since the sales of her cargo, without (Continued on page 6)
advising us that we might draw for the same it is but
reasonable he should. make good the depreciation.

Neither Capt. Truxton or myself know if the
vessel has been sold or is still running on our account I

5 860.443.1209 | | [email protected]

amount he found unacceptable.. In the letter above, we broke away from Britain, Vice Admiralty Court was no
see that Arnold did invest in other types of voyages.. longer available for mediating maritime disputes.. While
Arnold now wrote to Shaw as the Navy Agent for the the Marine Committee provided the rules for
colony of Connecticut.. privateering and the method for dividing profit shares
among all those involved, they made no provision for
The sloop John was engaged in typical maritime the judicial process of declaring a capture legal.. When
trade.. However Packwood sailed for Shaw a number of the issue of maritime dispute was taken up by the
privateering mission, and Packwood may have been Congress, it was decided to allow individual colonies to
privateering after the run to the West Indies.. As Arnold decide.. Connecticut was quick to act.. Unlike
noted in his letter, he did not know anything of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the colony did not set
ship’s activities after she returned with her cargo. While up an admiralty court, but appointed three county courts
acting as a privateer any cargo taken by the John was to hear maritime cases.. As the Navy Agent Shaw
subject to the congressional regulations.. Shaw was worked with these courts to determine if prizes taken by
responsible for ensuring the rules of the Marine privateers were legal.. It was this court which would
Committee were followed concerning any privateer arbitrate Arnold’s complaint.
capture.. Arnold had a share in the sloop and was due
any profits generated by the vessel as long as he was an Arnold wrote this letter in August of 1780, and
owner.. Arnold, as owner, had a right know the activities while there is a record of a copy being submitted to
of the John, and the right to contest the actions of George Washington, there is no correspondence from
Packwood in arbitration. Shaw to Arnold answering his request to send the matter
to arbitration.. Forty-three days later Major Andre was
Shaw with his maritime background was captured and the entire situation was made moot.
familiar with maritime law and interacting with the
courts.. Prior to the Revolution, such arbitration was the
province of Vice Admiralty Court.. When the colonies

Internships Available

We have a robust internship program at NLCHS.. Currently, we have 4
interns working on projects, but we are always looking for more..
Internship opportunities include:

Docent/Tour Guide: leading visitors on tours of the Shaw Mansion and
learn how to assist with research queries.

Curating exhibits: organize and curate a digital and physical exhibit based
on a thematic topic.

Marketing & Development: market programs to the public via social
media, help us manage our website, design marketing materials, and work
on development initiatives.

Programs: Help us develop programs.

Collections & Archives: Work on specific archives/collections projects Interns Rudy (left) and Sam (right)
such as digitizing photos, update entries in past perfect, assist with accessions, on a field trip at Mystic Seaport
and many more.. .

If you’re interested in our internship program, please contact us at: [email protected].

NLCHS Spring 2019 Newsletter 6

Message from the Associate Director Regan Miner

Greetings NLCHS members, December, we’ll have pictures with Santa at the Shaw

Mansion.. Check out our Facebook page or website for

Since I was hired in July 2018, I’ve enjoyed more updates regarding these events.

learning about the collection and working with our We’ve also received a number of new accessions

dynamic group of student interns. As we look forward to into the collection. Recently, we received three binders

2019, I’m eager to find ways to use the county’s rich worth of photographs documenting the destruction of

history to connect and collaborate with other regional various sites in New London County from the Hurricane of

entities. 1938. The images are sobering reminders of the

The Programs Committee is in full swing and destruction that nature can cause.. The other interesting

we’re busy planning lots of great programs for 2019. object we accessioned was a bottle from the Bank Street

We’re launching a brand new initiative. called the Pharmacy Farmacia Italiana formally located on 357 Bank

Community Bridge Program where we will offer free Street New London, Conn. dated May 6, 1907.

events to the community.

Our plan is to host free events around the holidays Hope to see you at an upcoming event at the Shaw

for local families in the community. In October, we’re Mansion!

planning on hosting a pumpkin painting event and during

Caesar Shaw : Freeman & Mariner

By: Sam Urban, Intern

Caesar Shaw was born a slave in New Certificate of Residence for Caesar Shaw, dated. 1795.
London on the 10th of February, 1760. He was Image courtesy of the Connecticut State Library
owned by Nathaniel Shaw Jr, so he likely lived in
the third floor servants’ quarters of the Shaw of doing the hard work of a sailor. Caesar was on the
Mansion. At Nathaniel Shaw Jr’s untimely death in Brig Cordellia with a crew of ten men, including one
1782 he was freed in the will that Nathaniel dictated other sailor described as having ‘black’ complexion,
on his deathbed. Nathaniel Shaw Jr.’s will also and one having ‘copper’ complexion. It was
bequeathed him ten pounds in silver coins annually common for 30% of the crew of a vessel to be black
for the rest of his life; as long as he lived in New at this time, as sailing was a common profession for
London. Ten pounds in 1782 was about $2,100 free black men, especially for ships sailing from
dollars in today’s money when adjusted for inflation. New London.

It is likely that Caesar was sent to sea by his Caesar owned two pieces of land, both in
master, like many slaves in New London were at the New London. One was purchased in 1792 for the
time. The records from the late 18th century and price of thirty pounds, the other in 1794 from
early 19th century when Caesar was a sailor are Thomas Shaw for the price of one hundred pounds.
often incomplete so we only know of two specific In 1779 Caesar married his first wife, Eader Deshon,
voyages that Caesar participated in. The first voyage whom he had three children with. Caesar outlived
was in 1795 to the West Indies on the sloop Betsey.
A notarized certificate that says Caesar is a free man
and an American citizen protected Caesar from
runaway slave catchers and British impressment on
his journey. Caesar’s second voyage to the West
Indies was on the Brig Cordellia where he was
employed as a cook. Caesar’s occupation as a cook
tells us that at 44 years old, he was no longer capable

7 860.443.1209 | | [email protected]

his first wife and all of the children from his first Porch Repair
marriage. His son, Caesar Shaw Jr., died at the age
of 31 in 1819. His wife, Eader, died in 1809. Caesar The NLCHS needs to repair the front porch of the c.
remarried within a few months to Jane Freeman. 1756 Shaw Mansion. The front porch is worn and
With his second wife he had four more children. shows significant damage from a carpenter ant
infestation. One joist has rotted through and must be
Caesar died in 1827 at the age of 68. We replaced. The sub boards need to be replaced and the
have more records on him than we would have on porch needs to be sanded, primed, and painted.
most African-Americans at the time because he was Contact us to learn how to contribute toward our
a land owner and owned by a powerful and rich $5,000 grant matching initiative.
family. Unfortunately we still know very little of his
life or the details of his relationships and we can
only infer based on what we do have. Regardless of
how much information we have, his story and the
story of other African-Americans in Connecticut is a
part of our cultural history and a story worth telling.
His obituary, in the Connecticut Gazette, reads
simply, “Ceasar Shaw, a respectable man of colour,
aged 68.”

Joshua Hempstead Dan Connors has formatted the entire diary so that we
Diary Update have page numbers, and I’m mostly finished checking
name index errors and additions.
By: Patricia M. Schaefer, Volunteer
This means there are two major tasks remaining:
changing the page numbers in the index to match the page
numbers in the new edition; and getting the diary printed..
The new edition is seventeen pages longer than the last
one, partly because of formatting changes, but mostly
because of added content.

There were a few entries added that had been
suppressed by the Victorian transcribers, but most of the

added content is a line here, and another one there.. Most
of these were simply missed, being at the end of an entry,
squeezed between two other lines, or at the bottom of a
page.. They add up.. There are a number of diary entries
that make much more sense with the added line.

You can help in two ways. Fir st is financially. A

donation (or a second donation) to the Hempstead diary

project would be both helpful and greatly appreciated. The

other need is for help with re-numbering the pages of the

index entries.. The task would be more manageable in

The Joshua Hempstead Diary in the smaller chunks, say A-C, D-F, etc.. If several people (who

collection of NLCHS are willing to be careful and not too proud to ask for help

with questions) each took one section, it might be possible

In April of last year I wrote an article for the to get the index done in the foreseeable future, before the
newsletter about the upcoming new edition of The Diary
price of publishing goes up again.

of Joshua Hempstead 1711-1758.. It is still upcoming, but

there has been progress.. I have finished the proofreading,

NLCHS Spring 2019 Newsletter 8

Upcoming Events

Harris Sisters Month at Otis Library — April 20th

In honor of Harris Sisters Month at Otis Library in Norwich,
NLCHS is sponsoring a lecture on Frances Caulkins by Nancy
Steenburg, PhD on April 20, 2019 at 1:00pm. Nancy will be speak-
ing about Frances Manwaring Caulkins, both about Caulkins’s life
and work in Norwich, but more specifically about her involvement
in the abolition movement in Norwich, where she was the first
president of the Norwich Female Anti-Slavery Society.

The event will be held in Otis Library’s Community Room. The
event is free and open to the public.

Flock Theater at the Shaw Mansion Open House Day
May 10th - 26th Saturday, June 8th

Flock Theater presents Pride & Prejudice On Saturday June
adapted by Jon Jory on 8th from 10:00am
May 10-26 Fridays & – 1:00pm, NLCHS
Saturdays at 7:00pm will offer free
and Sundays at tours of the Shaw
2:00pm. Mansion in honor
of CT Open
Performances will be House Day. At
held at the Shaw 2:00pm, we’ll host
Mansion. Tickets can a lecture titled:
be purchased on Flock Local Connections: Finding the H.M.S. Resolute
Theater’s website.

Kids Summer Museum Camp
July 15th-19th, July 22nd-26th & July 29th-August 2nd

This program is for students entering grades fourth through sixth (ages 10-13). Working in teams,
students will build an exhibit using artifacts from our collection. They’ll learn how to select arti-
facts, write a narrative, create an exhibit and present their final creation. We will be offering three
sessions and each week will have its own topic: Benedict Arnold’s Revolutionary War Raid on New
London and Groton (July 15-19), A Day in the Life of a Child During the 1800’s (July 22-26), and
Immigration and Ancestry (July 29- August 2). The cost of a weekly sessions is $100.

9 860.443.1209 | | [email protected]

By appointment only Wednesday—
Friday. Please contact us at
[email protected] to schedule your
research appointment.

The Shaw Mansion is open for tours
Thursdays 12:00pm-4:00pm or by

Contact us
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 860-443-1209

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