Plaque location: 106 Lyme Street
The Declaration of Independence signed in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, affirmed that all men were created equal. Five weeks later on August 30, 1776, Jenny and Prince’s third child Pompey was born into hereditary slavery in the household of William Noyes. Along with his four siblings, Pompey served in the house that stood originally on the site of today’s Florence Griswold Museum. Later he became the property of Noyes’s son Joseph Noyes, who built a new house in about 1814 near the site of the first minister’s homestead. Two years later Pompey fled. A notice posted in the Connecticut Gazette on December 25, 1816, announced: Negro man Pomp, ae 40 has run away from Joseph Noyes of Lyme. Pomp is blind in one eye and had poor vision in the other.
Pompey’s mother Jenny, his brother Prince, his sister Crusa, and his niece Sabina, called Biner, all likely served in Noyes houses when he ran away. Where he fled to and whether he returned to Lyme, either before or after Joseph Noyes’s death in 1820, is not known. A gravestone in Duck River Cemetery, its inscription no longer legible, tells us only that Pompey Freeman died on August 9, 1822, in his 46th year of age.
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.
Pompey Freeman gravestone, Duck River Cemetery