Luke was a young African American enslaved by Dr. Preserved
Porter. It is not known where he came from, or when he came
to Waterbury. The census of 1800 shows two people enslaved
in the Porter household; one of them may have been Luke.
Luke and Fortune's widow Dinah were the only people enslaved
in Porter's household when Preserved died in 1803. Luke
may have been purchased by Dr. Porter to replace Fortune
as a farm laborer.
Porter's estate inventory valued Luke's "services till
of age" at $166.67, indicating that Luke was born after
March 1784 and would become free upon reaching his 21st
birthday. Preserved Porter's daughter, Hannah Bronson, inherited
Luke in 1804. Luke most likely would have been expected
to help work the Bronson farm until he was free. The 1810
census shows no African Americans, free or enslaved, in
the Bronson household.