|TIMELINE||THE 1720'S HOUSE||THE 1812 HOUSE|
|ROOM-BY-ROOM||THE GROUNDS||BURIAL STONES|
The institution of slavery first appeared in the Brookhaven Town Records on December 9, 1672 and the gradual abolishment of slavery began in earnest in 1799 when the New York State Legislature passed "An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery". The statute called for all slave owners of the mother/master of the slave child to register each child with the town clerk under penalty of a fine. All slaves born after 1799 were to be freed however if the child's mother was a slave, they served their owner until age 25 for females and age 28 for males.
The listing shown below was found by Margaret Davis Gass (Miller Place historian) on a slip of paper stuck between the pages of Volume I of the “Laws of the State of New York 1792” having belonged to the Helme Family – page 15.
Many of the names shown above also appear in the WILL of William Henry Helme that can be viewed in it's entirely by clicking on the link.
Additionally from various census and town records we find the following Helme family slaves:
In 1776 Thomas Helme had 2 slaves over 16 and 1 slave under 16.
In 1790 he had 4 slaves and 2 “others” but the census gives no indication as to age or sex.
In 1800 he had 1 slave, 1 “other” (mother of 5 children) and freed Jack.
Note: SUNY at Stony Brook in their Manuscript Collection 340 show a slave contract "for the sale of Jack in Southamption, Long Island, NY dated the 21st of March, 1798. Jack aged 17 years and 5 months was conveyed from Josiah Hand to William H. Helme for period of six years and seven month and was then to be freed". We find that Jack was freed in 1800.
This May certify that on the Second Day of June one thousand eight Hundred and seven Wm. Helme of sd Town Made application to the Trustees of sd Town to Manumate and set free A Woman Slave of his by the Name of Viner and sd Trustees having Satisfactory evidence that sd Viner is under the age of fifty years and of Sufficient ability to provide for and Maintain herself we the sd Trustees do hereby Manumate and set free sd Negro Woman Viner agreeable to the Law of the State of New York Passed the 8th Day of April 1801.
Attest Mordecai Homan Town Clk
In 1810 Thomas Helme had 2 “others” and his son William Henry Helm had 4 slaves and 2 “others”.
In 1820 Sarah Helme had 3 male slaves and 2 female slaves.
Be it Remembered that on the Seventh day of Nov. 1820 William Helme (Jr.) made application to the Trustees of the freeholders and commonality of Brookhaven to Manumitt a certain Slave named Oliver and said Trustees being Satisfied that said slave is under forty five years and of sufficient Ability to provide for and maintain himself do hereby consent that he should be Manumitted as the Statute of this State direct.
Thomas S. Strong Presdt
Attest Mordecai Homan, Town Clerk
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