enslaved people pre USA, use the sticker?

+8 votes
162 views

I work mostly with the Puritan Great Migration Project, 1620-1640. 

Your sticker says "... is part of African American History"

Question: Should I use this sticker for people born during the great migration in the 1600s, who were living pre American?

The profile attached is my first attempt at creating a profile of a black person in PGM time period.  I'm a bit unsure about whether these family members were slaves or employed servants.  The will uses these words, causing my uncertainty, "if they should be still kept or imployed at my ffarme or in the service of my son or wife..."  

So, were they slaves or employed servants?

will: https://archive.org/details/reportofrecordco10bost_0/page/25/mode/1up?q=Robert+Keayne  p. 25.

edit:  I don't think I have the naming right.  I think his current last name should be Keayne and other last names Negar.  I'm changing it...

WikiTree profile: Richard Keayne
in Genealogy Help by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (223k points)

4 Answers

+5 votes
 
Best answer

OK, so one, from 1641 the legal category of slave existed in Massachusetts.  Two, even so, they might have been free.

So looking at this with the question of "so did he treat them as property?"  I see that he says "yea though they should be disposed of to any other place before by my executors, & if they should be still kept or employed at my ffarme or in the service of my son or wife..."

So he's treating them as property, because executors dispose of property.   Richard's daughter Zipora *might* be free, since he doesn't list an owner for her.   

A quick google turns up a 1999 article about Angola -- apparently there's a TON of documents about him and his family.  You can sign up to read it for free, and yes, they were slaves, and were valued as part of the estate by the executors.

See: https://www.jstor.org/stable/366629?seq=1

And there's a bit more about Grace and Zipora (evidently the line about Zipora was added later. possibly because Richard died -- or was sold or ran away, I suppose.  [edit] And she was valued as property, though the article opines that as a child, at the time she ought to have been considered free.)

by Patricia Hawkins G2G6 Mach 2 (29.6k points)
selected by Cheryl Skordahl
There most definitely was black slavery in early New England.
Thank you, Patricia.  The article on Angola was disturbing, but insightful. I appreciate the link you included in your answer above.

I agree with you and Ellen that Angola and Richard's wife & child were more than likely enslaved, and their biographies will be written from that perspective.
+5 votes
It is likely that these people were enslaved. Regardless of that, it seems to me that all people described as Negro, African, etc., in colonial America should be in scope for the US Black Heritage project.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
yes, agree with you, Ellen.
An exchange I had with the project leader of Black Heritage confirms that for profiles of black folks that need protection, that they (Black Heritage) would like to manage them.

Since PGM has enough profiles to manage, I heartedly support BH managing these.
Thank you for your comment, Jillaine.

Yes, I too support Black Heritage protection of the profiles as well.  

Since no sources have been found (to date) that indicates they were in New England in 1640 or before, the profiles wouldn't be eligible for PGM or PGM protection.
+3 votes
since I've not heard back from the project about the use of their sticker, I'll assume the answer is yes, use it.

It can always be removed in the future, if need be.
by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (223k points)
Hi Cheryl, I never got a message about this question, but saw it in my feed today. Sorry for the slow reply. See my above answer. :-)
+1 vote
Hi Cheryl, Your question is about the sticker. {{African-American Sticker)). We are currently making plans to change the sticker completely so it will apply to all African descendants across history and location. However, we're still working on the sticker image. For now, we are still using this sticker to bookmark the profiles. We will then go to all the profiles with the sticker and update them as needed.

Thanks!
by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (783k points)
Thank you for your response Emma.

For now, I'll use the sticker, per your comment above.  When you review and update in the near future, you may wish to add these early enslaved people to your project and PPP them.

Thank you for your work with U.S. Black Heritage Project.

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