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Waterbury's Slave Owners
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Stephen Judd

Stephen Judd (1715-1777) lived in Westbury (now Watertown) and married four times. His second wife, Mary Wheeler, had an indentured servant named Rhoda, whom she brought with her from Woodbury in 1748. Mary and her infant son died in 1749. Judd kept Rhoda in his household, perhaps to care for his two children from his first marriage.

Judd married for the third time in 1751. Three weeks later, he illegally sold Rhoda as a slave for life to Joseph Hall of Cheshire. Rhoda had been born a free woman, and her sale into slavery was declared void by court action forty-two years later. By then Stephen Judd had died (“with the Appoplexey”). His estate was ordered to refund Joseph Hall's estate for Rhoda’s illegal purchase.

Judd’s son Stephen lived in Waterbury and was a neighbor to John Nichols, who deeded him land on Waterbury’s Abrigador Hill, noting that Stephen had no property of his own.

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