Caesar was captured and brought to Connecticut as an eight- or nine-year-old boy around 1758. Lois’s story is not known. By the American Revolution they were enslaved to Reverend Samuel Peters in Hebron. In 1774 Reverend Peters left Hebron because of his loyalty to England. He went to London, England, leaving Caesar and Lois behind.
The couple continued to live on and work Peters’s farm. But the colony considered the farm abandoned and took it. The colony rented it out to another farmer. Caesar and Lois had to leave. They made a home for themselves nearby and continued to support themselves.
After the war Peters’s farm was once again abandoned. Caesar and Lois moved back to the farm. They worked hard and paid the taxes on the property.
Suddenly, in September 1787, six armed men showed up. They came to take Caesar, Lois, and their family and sell them to pay Rev. Peters’s debts. The family was thrown into the back of a wagon. Caesar was put in iron shackles.
Neighbors heard their cries and the commotion. They came running and asked what was going on. The men, weapons drawn, showed papers giving them the right to take the family away.
The people of Hebron were outraged at the cruelty and unfairness. They decided to try to rescue the family.
Just before the slave catchers and their captives reached Norwich and a ship bound for South Carolina, the rescuers succeeded in their quest. But Caesar and Lois’s troubles were not over. Were they still the property of Rev. Peters? The case went to court. In January 1789 the General Assembly heard the petitions of the people of Hebron calling for the family to be freed. The General Assembly agreed, and Caesar, Lois, and their family were freed.
Source: "Caesar and Lois Peters," by Peter Hinks, African American Connecticut Explored
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