The beginnings of the known story about my 5th great-grandparents originates in Fishkill, NY. Fishkill is a town in the mid-Hudson River part of New York state. The records we have show that Primus and Parmelia Storms traveled to Vermont with Parmelia’s enslaver, Platt Rogers. Platt – with the help of Primus – founded the town of Basin Harbor, Vermont.
But we don’t know much about Primus’ life in Fishkill. The unsubstantiated rumor is that Primus was enslaved by a General Storm and earned his freedom by serving during the Revolutionary War. Maybe. Online digitized records from Fishkill contain no mention of Primus. The wills and probates of the General Garret Storm, his father, his brothers, and his sons do not mention Primus.
A visit to Fishkill was in order.
Fishkill, like lots of NY (and Massachusetts) towns, has separate villages within the town limits. Stormville is one of those villages, named after the Dutch Storm family who occupied this section of Fishkill from at least the early to mid 18th century. And right in the middle of town is a “Slave Cemetery” said to hold people enslaved by the Storm family.
This “Slave Cemetery” was one of the places we visited in our on-site search for Primus and his story. We also spent time at the East Fishkill Historical Society in Hopewell Junction (another Fishkill village) but did not find any evidence of Primus. We also visited the home of Garret Storm but that’s a separate post.
The plan is to keep searching for primary records and hope that there is mention of Primus. We’ve been unable to verify his military service which was the most common way for an enslaved man to be free in that century. But we’ve not given up!
Thanks for reading!