Mingo is often stated to be the first enslaved African American
to come to Waterbury. When he was a boy, sometime around
1730, he was purchased by Deacon Thomas Clark. Clark hired
out his services for daily farm labors to other Waterbury
Mingo was probably not the first person to be enslaved
in Waterbury, as there were many Pequots and other native
peoples held as slaves throughout Connecticut since the
17th century. Mingo was also probably not the first African
American slave in Waterbury. The 1737 estate inventory
of Capt. William Hickcox lists Lewis the negro man,
valued at £140, and Filis the negro woman,
valued at £100. Lewis and Filis could very well
have arrived in Waterbury before Mingo. The author of
the History of Waterbury published in 1858 believed,
however, that Mingo was the first slave in Waterbury.
Mingo lived in Waterbury for roughly 70 years. Upon Deacon
Clarks death in 1764, Mingo was allowed to choose
which of the Deacons sons to live with. He chose to
remain in the family home with the Deacons son Thomas,
but when Thomas turned the house into a tavern, Mingo moved
to Timothy Clarks home in Town Plot.
Mingo had a family and owned property. In 1795 he was listed
as a member of the Congregational Church. He died in 1800.
Another African American man named Mingo appears in the
1777 estate inventory of Caleb Humaston, a farmer and
town treasurer who lived in the Northbury (now Thomaston)
section of Waterbury.