Plaque location: 100 Lyme Street, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center
“John Noyes of Lyme” published a notice in the Connecticut Gazette on May 8, 1805, offering fifty cents as a reward to “whoever will take up and return” Samuel Waukeet. The notice described the “indented Indian boy, named Samuel Weaukeat” as “nineteen years old about five feet five inches high, short hair, and of a slender make.” The runaway advertisement warned: “All persons are forbid entertaining, trusting or employing him on penalty of the law.”
Samuel had likely performed agricultural labor for John Noyes, the town doctor, on his estate, which today houses the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center. Born in 1786, he may have been a grandson of George Waukeet, whose dwelling at the Niantic reserve in today’s East Lyme Rev. Ezra Stiles, later president of Yale, sketched in 1761.
Whether Samuel was taken up and returned to Dr. Noyes is not known. Samuel later worked for both Joshua Powers and Sylvanus Griswold in what was then Lyme’s east parish. Samuel may have been one of the “Black men” referenced in Sylvanus Griswold’s diary on March 4, 1808, when Griswold wrote: “I prund Apple trees & my Black men hoed round the roots.”
Research into the lives of those enslaved in Lyme is ongoing and sometimes uncovers new details that may not have been known when the stone was installed. The text on this page reflects the most current information.