Descendants of Norwich slave, owner meet

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2013-10-03 05:00Z by Steven

Descendants of Norwich slave, owner meet

Norwich Bulletin
Norwich, Connecticut

Adam Benson

Norwich, Conn.—When descendants of Norwich slave Guy Drock and the man who owned him met  for the first time Thursday, they weren’t sure what would happen.

Grant Hayter-Menzies’ fifth-generation great-grandfather, Capt. Benejah Bushnell, owned Drock for a decade in the mid-1700s in Norwich.

Hayter-Menzies, of British Columbia; Daryl D’Angelo, of Amherst, N.H.; and her cousin, Donald Roddy, of Spokane, Wash. — all of them white — came to Karen Cook’s U.S. history class at Norwich Free Academy with a story they said had to be told.

“I don’t have any of the cultural and social legacies of someone who grew up identified as an African-American, and I still had a moment of, ‘What does this guy want from me,’” D’Angelo said of meeting Hayter-Menzies.

Hayter-Menzies was apprehensive, too…

… Roddy, a retired airline pilot, said he stumbled across his Drock lineage several years ago, while doing genealogical research on his family.

“I had no idea I had African ancestors until a few years ago,” Roddy said. “No one in my living family had a clue about that.”

Hayter-Menzies said he’s forged a unique bond with D’Angelo and Roddy, and quickly felt a kinship with them once they finally met.

“My first reaction was to reach out and hug you,” Hayter-Menzies told D’Angelo. “We feel like friends already.”…

Read the entire article here.

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“Slavery, Freedom and Reunion in a Colonial Connecticut Town” with Grant Hayter-Menzies, Daryl D’Angelo and Donald Roddy

Posted in Audio, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2013-10-03 03:25Z by Steven

“Slavery, Freedom and Reunion in a Colonial Connecticut Town” with Grant Hayter-Menzies, Daryl D’Angelo and Donald Roddy

Research at the National Archives and Beyond
BlogTalk Radio
Thursday, 2013-10-03, 21:00 EDT, (Friday, 2013-10-04, 01:00Z)

Bernice Bennett, Host

In June 1759, Norwich, Connecticut businessman Benajah Bushnell sold Guy Drock, a slave of African ancestry, to Sarah Powers, the Caucasian woman Drock had possibly married. Ironically, this deed freed Drock from Bushnell’s control but not from slavery. In March 2012, descendants of Guy and Sarah Drock and of Benajah Bushnell came together in Norwich for the first time in over two centuries. Drock descendants Daryl D’Angelo and Donald Roddy—who when they began their research years earlier did not know they had African ancestry, and Bushnell descendant Grant Hayter-Menzies—who thought only his Southern ancestors were slave owners—met to try to understand a legacy they did not know they shared. In the town where their past began, they sought to explore the personal impact of their ancestors’ intertwined histories, how the past has shaped them, their research and their interactions with one another today, and the relatively unknown institution of slavery in early New England.

  • Grant Hayter-Menzies is an internationally published biographer and journalist .
  • Daryl D’Angelo is a wife and mother, photographer and writer, and lives in a small town [Amherst] in southern New Hampshire.
  • Donald Roddy is a 78 year old retired Airline Pilot.

For more information, click here.

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