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Last Updated: Jan 24, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Lemuel Haynes

Brief Biography with questions 

Biographical Information

Reef, Catherine. "Haynes, Lemuel." African Americans in the Military, Revised Edition, A to Z of African Americans. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2010. African-American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.
ItemID=WE01&iPin=AAM0068&SingleRecord=True (accessed December 13, 2013).


Prince and Prime

Petition of 1779 by slaves of Fairfield County for the abolition of Slavery in Connecticut by Prince and Prime 

The signatories of the 1779 petition are named Prime and Prince. Prime, who was evidently literate, was owned by Samuel Sturges, while Prince, who was illiterate, was owned by Captain Stephen Jenings. Rosivach characterizes the owners as undistinguished members of prominent families in Fairfield, Connecticut. He further speculates that Prince may well have been the sole slave owned by Jenings when Jenings died in 1785, and he probably farmed his owner's estate (most Black slaves in Connecticut at the time were farm labor). Prince may have owned a copy of the book, Sermon on the principal heads on the Christian religion, although he was illiterate. We know nothing of Prime.

It seems that this petition was written by its witness, Attorney Jonathan Sturges. Jonathan Sturges was an important local figure and apparently supported emanicaption, but Rosivach cautions us against assuming that the petition's content was simply Sturges'own invention (other petitions, written by slaves themselves, manifest words and ideas comparable to this petition). It is interesting that Jonathan Sturges owned a slave Phyllis, probably his housekeeper, and her children.

Both houses subsequently rejected the petition.

Text of the Petition





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