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Sunday, April 17, 2022

Meditations on Generations

Think of some toddler you know with every one other accompanied by love.

See how they talk, see how they walk, see how they toddle.

Think of some toddler you know with every one other accompanied by love.

Remember how inquisitive they are, how intent?

Think of some toddler you strength see inside the park.

See how bold they are, how shy, how tiny

Peeking from behind Mommy or Daddy or Gram.


Imagine a kitchen scene inside 1726:

There’s a baby, Little Jane swaddled inside a blanket,

In a basket on the floor, facing sunlight coming inside into and not here of the not shut spine door.

The baby’s mother, Temperance, coos while she cuts the turnips with every one other accompanied by carrots for

Supper, inside Mr. Noyes’s house, where they live, on the main street.

Now, imagine this scene, disturbed. (Change is on the ledger.)

How strength it have happened? Would Temperance exist summoned to the study?

Or, would it have been deemed additional real for a servant to tell her to pack

Her few things. Just how do you convey up this subject?

Was there some conversation? Was someone upset?

Was someone angry?

Temperance found herself sold away from her child, at that hour dated married,

All within one week throughout the earliest month of the new year.

How did she manage to proceed accompanied by her duties, her life;

One foot inside front of the other?


I stare at fragments of History. A flash.

There it is—hidden inside plain sight.

A woman had a baby. This woman was sold away before

The infant reached her earliest birthday.

Why? Who would do such a thing? And, why?

Who would sell? Who would buy?


Then, here it is, again—

That one-two punch

That ongoing, genteel assault called

Temperance, number of years 20, was sold to Richard Lord inside 1726, the same year she gave birth. Why would someone separate a girl from her newborn?


It’s 1729. They sold the baby.



(Think how anyone would feel.)

Jane, feminine child of Temperance, granddaughter of Jane, of the Narragansett

Was born inside the Peck place of residence inside 1726, Lyme, Connecticut.

In 1729, Joseph Peck? Jr. sold Jane (age 3) to

Benjamin Read (age 29) for the amount of 25 pounds.

(According to Professor Eric W. Nye of the University of

Wyoming, this amount is identical to $5,520.25, inside 2021 dollars.)

Mr. Peck, declares inside the invoice of sale that the child is “molado,” that is to say:

“white” with every one other accompanied by “indian.”


I tin imagine that wherever Jane went throughout her lifetime,

There would always exist someone to build note of her



One strong man, a male of means, sold a toddler to another male of means.

Why was a “molado,” toddler girl price so a a large amount of inside colonial Connecticut?

Who has the stomach to ponder such a question? Who has the heart?

What I do know, what I tin speak is that Jane is special.

I proclaim that Jane stands for all of the

Girls with every one other accompanied by women who were bought, sold,

Lost, forced, coerced, confused,

Misnamed; undocumented

Except inside a ship’s manifest,

A yearly inventory,

A last will with every one other accompanied by testament,

A invoice of sale.


Dear Jane,

I do not know, yet, where you lived,

Who took protected from danger keeping of you, how you lived your life.

I do know that you were loved.

You were named following your grandmother.

I’ll remember you, Jane. You were here.

I will integrity you, esteem you;

Hold you inside my words.

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Truth hurts! Nothing is perfect, life is messy. Relationship are complex. Outcomes are uncertain, people are irrational.


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