COURTESY SYLVESTER MANOR Julia Dyd Havens Johnson, ca. 1884, Manor housekeeper for over 40 years and the last known person to be buried in the Burying Ground.
In 1652, an Englishman named Nathaniel Sylvester sailed with his wife Grizzell from his family’s sugar plantation in Barbados and landed on Shelter Island. He, along with his brother and two other investors, had purchased the Island from an English aristocrat to create an 8,000-acre estate as a “provisioning plantation,” servicing the sugar plantations of the West Indies.
Old enough to be sold by her owner in Southold Town to a man named John Parker, who owned a mill on the Peconic River near what today is downtown Riverhead.
On Oct. 7, 1689, for the “just sum of sixteen pounds current money of this province,” James Parshall sold Sarah, whom he had owned since her birth, to Parker. The bill of sale describes Sarah as an “Indian girle.” (more…)