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September 16, 1781 – Slave Named Telemaque

September 16, 1781 – Slave Named Telemaque

Denmark Vessey, also Telemaque

Capt. Joseph Vesey of Charles Town purchased 390 slaves in St. Domingue. One of the slaves he purchased was a young boy “about 14 years old” named Telemaque. Vesey also noted the boy had a “beauty, alertness and intelligence.”  Instead of keeping the boy chained below decks Vesey”adopted the boy as the “ship’s pet and plaything.” Vesey gave the boy a new set of clothes and used him as his cabin boy.

When the ship arrived at Cap Francois, Haiti, Vesey decided he “had no use for the boy” and turned him over to the slave agents Lory, Plomard and Compagnie. Little did he know that young boy would become a constant feature of his life for the next 30 years, and ultimately … for the next 200 years.