Plaque location: 110 Lyme Street
Shortly before he died in 1733 at age 45, John Noyes, described as a doctor and recently married, willed to his wife the “Use, Benefit & Improvement” of his whole estate. Noyes, the younger son of Lyme’s minister, had married Mary Hudson the previous year. His estate inventory listed “one Negro youth called Warrick and one negro Girl calld Grace.” Together the two enslaved persons were valued at 200 pounds, a large sum considering that two horses, two mares, a suckling colt, and 43 sheep were valued at 71 pounds.
The origins of the “negro Girl calld Grace” have not been discovered. She could have been purchased, or she could be the daughter of Arabella, a “negro maid” who served Rev. Moses Noyes until his death in 1727. John Noyes likely started practicing medicine in his father’s homestead, but Grace would also have served on the large farm at “the Sea Side” in today’s South Lyme that Dr. Noyes inherited at the minister’s death. The inclusion of one “Weavers Loome,” one “Spinning Woolling Wheel,” and quantities of woolen yarn, stocking yarn, and linen yarn in Dr. Noyes’s estate inventory suggests that Grace was a skilled weaver.
Church records note the death on March 18, 1735, of Grace, servant of Widow Noyes, and three months later the baptism of “Casar servant child of ye widow Mary Noyes.” Whether Grace was Caesar’s mother is not known.
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.