By the 1720s, enslaved labor was contributing to Fairfield County's growing commerce in agricultural products.While there were only 30 slaves in Connecticut in 1680, by 1774 their numbers had swelled to 6,562 black slaves, or 3.4% of the colony's population. Although slave labor was used to operate large farms in the more fertile soil of eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, slaves and free blacks in the Greenwich area worked as domestics and laborers on family farms. Prior to the American Revolution, one in four adult men in Connecticut owned at least one slave, and the first federal census of 1790 reported 122 African Americans in Greenwich, including 82 slaves in 49 white households. There were two households of free blacks, totaling ten people, and another 30 free blacks living with white families.
Image: Number of Enslaved in Connecticut Towns, 1790. Census overlay on reproduction of 1796 map. Courtesy Stratford Historical Society, Stratford, Connecticut.