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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Getting the Wrongs Right

Last year, Anne Farrow wrote an article called "Sam Gould And The Isles Of Loss" as part of a special issue of Northeast Magazine about Connecticut's role in the slave trade. Farrow identified Samuel Gould as a mariner aboard an 18th-century New London slave ship based on the ship's log, which had "Sam Gould" written on the flyleaf and appeared to have been written in his hand.

In today's Hartford Courant, she concedes that Gould could not have written the log.

Our story deeply upset Laura Barber Cayer of Mansfield. She is a genealogist and a descendant of the Samuel Gould who died in Fairfield. Her ancestor was not the man who served aboard the slave ships in the log. When her ancestor died in 1769, he was nearly 80, far too old to have been the man who served aboard a slave ship a decade earlier.
Don't erect a statue to Sam Gould just yet: he was a slave owner—a fact which Cayer makes no effort to conceal.
"From my perspective," Cayer said, "the correction ...was never about not wanting to have my ancestors associated with a slave trader. It was about having [correct] the historical facts and genealogy that my mother and I spent 10 years of our lives researching." [Link]

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