Plaque location: 100 Lyme Street, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center
Jack’s life in Lyme left few traces aside from a church record that notes the death of “Jack man servant of Jos Peck” on December 14, 1738. Twenty years earlier in 1718, Peck had itemized in his account book, preserved at the Connecticut State Library, the hiring out of a “black boy,” for whose day labor Peck charged one shilling. Another entry shows that Peck hired out the “black boy with harro” for three shillings. The name of the enslaved boy is not given, but he may well have grown up to become Peck’s “man servant.”
The labor of the ”black boy” contributed to other income Peck acquired by selling beef, oats, and wheat, delivering wood by the sled load, providing hay storage in his barn, and hiring out his plow and ox team. Peck’s farm income, like that of other Lyme merchants, allowed him to purchase imported slave-produced plantation goods from the West Indies. Peck’s account book shows that in 1715 he sold rum by the pint and quart and sugar by the pound.
Jack was not the only enslaved person who served in Peck’s household. In 1726 Peck sold “a Certain molato Negro Girl named Temperance after the manner of a negro slave” to serve Richard Lord, Jr. “during the Term of her natural Life.” Three years later Peck sold “one certain molato girl of about three years old: called Jane” to Benjamin Reed of Lyme. The “molato girl,” born the same year that Temperance, also identified as “molato,” was sold to Richard Lord, is almost certainly Temperance’s daughter. Temperance apparently named her child after her mother Jane, a Native American captured at age two in King Philip’s war. Whether the “man servant” Jack is the father of the child Jane born in 1726 in Peck’s household 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.