FortuneWaterbury in the 18th CenturySlavery in WaterburyReligion and SlaveryWaterbury's African AmericansWaterbury's Slave OwnersResources
Waterbury's Slave Owners
goback to Waterbury's Slave Owners List

Harmon Payne

Harmon Payne (1773-1816) was the oldest of ten children. Harmon’s mother died when he was an infant, and his father, Joseph Payne (1751-1805) remarried a few months later. His father’s second wife died when Harmon was 14, and again his father remarried within a few months. He married for the fourth and final time in 1795, again only a few months after his wife’s death.

Joseph Payne purchased a mill on the Mad River from Capt. George Nichols in 1796. Harmon Payne operated a cloth dressing and carding machine shop a short distance away on the same river. Joseph lived in the Columbia district of Waterbury, now the town of Prospect. He was buried in the Grand Street cemetery. His coffin was carried on his “neighbors’ shoulders” from his home to the cemetery, a distance of several miles, where he was buried with his family.

Harmon Payne married Elizabeth Osborn in 1795, five months after his father’s fourth wedding. Harmon and Elizabeth had nine children together. Four of their children were baptized in the Congregational Church in 1801, along with Lucy, who was enslaved in their household. They were baptized at the same time as Comfort Homer and the children of Miles Newton. Lucy undoubtedly helped care for the many Payne children.

The census of 1810 shows Harmon Payne living in Waterbury, but without any African Americans, free or enslaved, in his household. Harmon does not appear at all in the 1800 census.

Related Biographies

© Copyright 2004, Mattatuck Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.