Enslaved in the Revolution: The Epic Story of Elizabeth

Kristin Thorne Image
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Enslaved in the Revolution: The Epic Story of Elizabeth
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"Most people focus on the Civil War era," the historian said. "Most people focus on the South. But this is really our only northern America's founding era story that has a complete life."

For the past 17 years, local historian Claire Bellerjeau has been studying the life of an enslaved Black woman from Long Island during the Revolutionary War period.

"Most people focus on the Civil War era," she said. "Most people focus on the South. But this is really our only northern America's founding era story that has a complete life."

Bellerjeau has been researching the life of Elizabeth, who went by Liss and was born to the Townsend Family in Oyster Bay around 1762. At that time, New York was the epicenter of slavery in the North.

Bellerjeau writes about Liss in her new book, "Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution."