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Plaque location: 106 Lyme Street


The emancipation of Samuel, a Slave belonging to the Estate of Joseph Noyes late of Lyme deceased, was entered in the land records on November 8, 1820. The certificate states that Samuel was in good health, that he was not of a greater age than forty-five years or less than twenty-five years, and that he was desirous of being made free. It also notes the testimony of five Noyes family members, before two justices of the peace and one selectman, that they had set at liberty Samuel a Slave belonging to us the heirs of Joseph Noyes late of Lyme deceased.

Samuel Freeman is the last person known to have been enslaved in Lyme. He was likely born in East Haddam where Joseph Noyes lived briefly in the Millington parish. An anonymous ledger noted in 1805 that, Capt. Joseph Noyes of East Haddam had Negro boy SAM. Later when Samuel labored on Noyes’s farm in Lyme, he married Nancy Freeman’s daughter Sabina. A list of births attended by Joseph Noyes’s son Dr. Richard Noyes, who had inherited his father’s house, includes the delivery of Sabina and Samuel’s daughter Sophie in 1816 and their son Henry in 1821.

Henry Freeman was six when his father was the victim of an assault. New London County Court records state that on August 18, 1827, Stephen Tucker at said Lyme with force and arms in and upon the body of Sam Freeman of said Lyme an assault made. William Noyes Jr., Dr. Noyes’s cousin, pressed charges of assault and battery, alleging that Samuel was the victim of a violent and unprovoked assault. He further alleged that the said Samuel was greatly hurt and injured. The assailant had already been arrested and remained in custody.

Three years later, according to the 1830 census, Samuel Freeman headed his own household. In 1850 at age 65, he lived in Lyme together with his wife Sabina, 55, his daughter Sophia, 30, his son Henry, 29, and three young grandchildren. The date of his death has not been found.

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. 

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