Slave Quarters

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Slave Quarters Floorplan
slave quarters

Slave Quarters

The upstairs room of the back kitchen wing of the Bush house may have been used as living quarters for the slaves who made up roughly half of the house's occupants in 1820. While no definitive evidence has been found to indicate where the Bush slaves lived, kitchen chambers, attics and cellars were commonly used in the northern states to house slaves. The 1820 Federal census for Greenwich lists four African Americans as members of the Bush household. These four individuals are not named, but probably were Candice and Patience, listed as slaves in David Bush's 1797 will and inventory, and their sons, Jack and Cull, whose births are recorded in Greenwich's Commonplace Book.

All would have been considered slaves in 1820, although Jack and Cull would eventually be freed by state law. Evidence also suggests that Candice was freed by Justus Luke Bush's sister in 1825. This would make Candice the last slave to have been emancipated in the town of Greenwich.

Architectural research reveals that occupants subsequent to the Bush family raised the roof and added windows to the back kitchen chamber, meaning that the space was considerably smaller in the early nineteenth century. The only heat source for the room was the chimney from the cooking fireplace downstairs. Straw mattresses on the floor, an extra set of clothing and some bedding were typically the few necessities provided by the slave owners. The room also served as a storage area for food and household tools.

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