Thursday, August 14, 2008

Venture SMITH's "Little" Rock

Venture SMITH's Rock
Originally uploaded by midgefrazel

Category: “Write, Write, Write”
Event: compose drafts and post them later

Venture, whose African name was Broteer, was a child when he was captured by the slave trade and brought to this country. [Link]

He was once owned by Thomas Stanton, 2d. (Robert2, Thomas1) and his wife Thankful Denison (George2, Capt. George1) who bought him because he was said to be able to “outwork three men” as he grew to be a huge man with unusual strength.

This couple known for being demanding and for their mean-spirited nature (nice legacy, huh?) , not only made Venture perform feats of strength for the amusement of their friends had a son who, when given the chance, mistreated him further. It is said that Venture lifted this rock weighing 442 pounds and moved it around whenever told to.

The Stanton Homestead, known today as the Stanton-Davis Farm Homestead was doubled in size two years after Venture’s purchase because they needed more room for the slaves to live and work in the house. The attic of this house has drawings on the walls made by slaves.
Venture was an amazing person who gained his freedom, owned land, arranged for the freedom of his family and other slaves too.

In 1798, at the age of 69 he dictated his story to a schoolteacher who had it published. Venture’s gravestone is in the First Church Cemetery in East Haddam, Middlesex county, Connecticut with his wife by his side. [Article]

Worth reading, there are many articles and of course, his book by those who are interested in how this man did such impossible things for the time.

The people directly involved with Venture were not my direct descendants but are part of the Stanton-Denison family connection. If you read the article by Dr. Steenburg and Elizabeth Kading, (“The Venture Adventure”) you will learn about two other (also not direct) ancestors of mine, Rev. Frederick Denison and Cyrus Henry Stewart (a member of my Stewart Family of North Stonington, CT) who contributed to the lasting legacy of this man.

While it is disturbing to learn of slavery in your own family, it is important for us to learn about, discuss and remember those who we can find information about so that their descendants can discover their family history too.

2008 Genea-Bloggers Games

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