by Jeffrey Bingham Mead
Chains Unbound: Slave Emancipations in Greenwich, Connecticut is a work aimed at offering the most inclusive historical information available on the emancipation of slaves during the latter 18th and 19th centuries in Greenwich.
She told me that her mother said it was painted by a black woman who was the daughter of slaves in Greenwich. The story goes further, stating that she married a black man with the Mead surname. The painting is unsigned, but we believe the artist was Hester Bush Mead, the daughter of emancipated slave and freedwoman Candice Bush.
|This is a later photograph of the Jabez Mead House. (Not included in the 1995 printed edition)|
A piece I wrote for the Greenwich Time which appeared on September 19, 1993 attracted positive interest from many readers. A similar piece appeared on May 8, 1994. It briefly discussed slavery and emancipation. The response it received from readers convinced me to compile and publish the information which is found here.
Only one certificate, for the slave Cuff freed by a Quaker named Robert Field in 1776, was transcribed from a photocopy found in the archives of the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich. For unknown reasons this was not recorded in the bound volumes in the Greenwich town clerk's records.
It is to all of them and to their legacies that this book is dedicated. This journey through time and events has illuminated my knowledge of Greenwich's history and surpassed my expectations. I hope this shall be the case with readers in the latter 20th century and those of generations to come.