“Negro” Woman Valued at £15

Negro” Woman Valued at £15

Appears in a Record From 1704

We do not know this enslaved woman’s name, but we do know that in 1704 her owner Daniel Easton, a Little Compton resident, died and willed her to his wife Rebeka. Inventory takers valued the enslaved woman at £15. She was the Eastons’ most valuable possession besides their house and 60-acre farm (valued at £180). Because she was called “Negro” we know that this woman was either African or African American. Because she was called a “woman,” we know that she was at least 18 years old.

The other belongings listed in Daniel’s probate inventory paint a picture of the Eastons’ home and indicate that this woman prepared meals in a well-furnished kitchen, fed the Eastons’ ten swine, milked their seven cows, processed honey from their five bee hives, and was involved in the making of butter and cheese. She was one of a small number of enslaved people of African descent who appear as property in the probate documents of Little Compton residents in the first decade of the 18th century, and so were likely living and working in Little Compton during the last decade of the 17th century.

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Outdoor exhibit panel from the 2020 special exhibition, The Little Compton Women’s History Project.

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