1000 Gallons of Molasses: The First Voyage of the Brig Ann of Saybrook, 1796
Sunday, June 9 at 9 AM in the Parish Hall

While researching the life of Violet, an enslaved parishioner of St. John’s, we came across the following entry in the finding notes for the Noah Scovell papers at the New Bedford Whaling Museum: “correspondence and agent/owner accounts for the Ann (Brig), which deal with Noah Scovell’s involvement in the West Indian slave trade in 1796-1799.” If Noah Scovell was actually involved in the slave trade, that would certainly be an important part of the story and the history of St. John’s and Essex. In an attempt to answer this question, the Essex Historical Society assembled a group of interested members who transcribed the documents associated with the Ann. I’ll cut to the chase: the answer is yes…but in a surprising way. Please join us as we retrace the first voyage of the Brig Ann of Saybrook from the foot of Essex’s Main Street to Havana and back.

– By Jim Myslik