James DeWolf (1764 - 1837) NEHS “James DeWolf, the RI Senator Who Murdered a Slave and Got Away With It”

+10 votes

I found this and wanted to share this article by the NEHS “James DeWolf, the RI Senator Who Murdered a Slave and Got Away With It“ 

WikiTree profile: James DeWolf
in The Tree House by Andrew Simpier G2G6 Pilot (270k points)
retagged by Andrew Simpier
I am very pleased to find I have no relationship with him
Not sure I can say the same - he's apparently connected to me through my Tichenor's.
He is my 4th cousin 5 times removed. We both descend from Balthasar DeWolf.
We New Englanders are often connected, whether we like it or not. I have three distant cousin relationships with this man. The closest is 3rd cousin, 6 times removed, via a Beckwith ancestor. We also share Balthasar DeWolf and the immigrant John Smith of Lancaster, Mass.
I do have PGM ancestors, i was surprised that I was not related to him. But I have 18 degrees from him
I have no relation connections that I could find. Interesting and a good read

You might be interested in the book, Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as a Slave-Trading Dynasty, which is available on Amazon in several formats including Kindle and Audible.  There is also a film of the family's search for its past called Traces of the Trade. You can read about it at https://www.pbs.org/black-culture/shows/list/traces-of-the-trade-slavery-in-america/ . If you do a google search there are trailers, and I think you can rent it. 

It is odd, because I am not surprised at all by this story. Horrified, but not surprised. From the time I was very young, I knew that there had been a branch of the family involved in the slave trade. My grandmother was a DeWolf(e) (b.1891) and she told me that part of the family had been slave traders, part patriots, part British sympathizers, not all of one piece.  

Thank you looks like a great read on the topic of discussion!

2 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
There is a database of incredible quality of information on the slave trade, including sources:


The entry for the voyage with the murder seems to be there, if you select the "Captain and Crew" tab, then enter "D'Wolf, James" in the field for captain. It would be good to get those sources onto his profile, but I don't have time at the moment.

When I can I will ll go ahead and link this family to the 1774 Census of Rhode Island project. Thank you for pointing out this article, as dreadful as the content is.
by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (220k points)
selected by Andrew Simpier
Oh good job ! Thank you
+3 votes
No relation! Thanks for the great profile read! It boggles the mind that our founders could be so ruthless and have their own conceptions of "all being created equal." This read underscores the issues we continue to face today related to race.
by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (539k points)
Your absolutely correct I agree

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