In June 1759, Norwich, Connecticut businessman Benajah Bushnell sold Guy Drock, a slave of African ancestry, to Sarah Powers, the Caucasian woman Drock had possibly married. Ironically, this deed freed Drock from Bushnell’s control but not from slavery. In March 2012, descendants of Guy and Sarah Drock and of Benajah Bushnell came together in Norwich for the first time in over two centuries. Drock descendants Daryl D’Angelo and Donald Roddy—who when they began their research years earlier did not know they had African ancestry, and Bushnell descendant Grant Hayter-Menzies—who thought only his Southern ancestors were slave owners—met to try to understand a legacy they did not know they shared. In the town where their past began, they sought to explore the personal impact of their ancestors’ intertwined histories, how the past has shaped them, their research and their interactions with one another today, and the relatively unknown institution of slavery in early New England.
Grant Hayter-Menzies is an internationally published biographer and journalist .
Daryl D’Angelo is a wife and mother, photographer and writer, and lives in a small town in southern New Hampshire.
Donald Roddy is a 78 year old retired Airline Pilot.