Sunday, January 25, 2015


In 1794 Levin Thompson, born  a free man of color,  came to Sussex county from  Maryland's Eastern Shore, and established a community of free people of color near Trussum Pond in south west Little Creek Hundred on 200 acres of land he had purchased. The community was named "Thompson's Beginning".                                                                                                                                               In that period of time the free black suffered the hazard of a thicket of laws and customs which limited their 'rights', such as being sold as slaves for unpaid debt's, and needed to be aware of persons like Patty Cannon who would kidnap them, sell them to slave traders to move them to the deep south plantations.  Above and beyond these hazards,  "Thompsons Beginning " farm was a success and the black entrepreneur used the profits to buy additional land. He owned a large home, furnished with and old walnut dinning room table with Windsor chairs,  a carriage that he traveled the  roads of Sussex county in dignity and set him apart from other rural residents as a member of gentry. He also owned a firearm which was good protection from the likes of Patty Cannon.
               Eventually, Thompson  was in possession of 500 acres of farm land in Little Creek Hundred  and 136 acres of cypress timberland in Dagsboro Hundred , he also owned a grist mill and saw mill near Laurel  and a loom and spinning wheels that produced 300 yards of linen and 600 yards of woolen cloth each month.  To operate these businesses Thompson employed the free black  residents of his community which became a thriving Sussex county village of free workers as he, a wealthy free African American, one of the richest in Sussex. 
Sources: 2014 March; Willaim Williams"Slavery & Freedom in Delaware"; michael Ruane "dig at Eastern Shore" Washington Post, 25 July 2013