Bloom

Title

Bloom

Description

Enslaved woman

Sex

Female

Status

Enslaved

Enslaver or Household

Abraham Mulford Jr.

Birth Date

1780, calculated by reported age (30 years) at death.

Death Date

October 13, 1810

Biographical Notes

She was the second daughter of Keder (#1638) and his first wife, Chloe (#377). Bloom “went out to service” in Southold and died there unmarried.

Two oral traditions may provide some context to Bloom’s short life. Both come from descendants of Alvah and Bethia (Horton) Mulford and share the following thread: One Sunday morning, a British vessel anchored in the Long Island Sound near the home of Abraham Mulford Jr. With muskets in hand, the townspeople raced to the site ready to stop the intruders. Instead of British soldiers, the people found an agitated, mulatto child on the rocky shore who appeared deaf and mute. She was identified by one word—Bloom. Abraham Mulford Jr. took pity on the child and brought her to live in his household until her death.

Bloom made a lasting impression on those who knew her as well as future Southold residents. She was buried in Southold’s First Presbyterian Church Burying Ground. Someone paid to mark her grave with a chiseled stone. It was this marker that caught the eye of Mrs. Eleanor Morris Lingo as a high school student. After moving away from Southold, Mrs. Lingo never forgot Bloom and started laying a Christmas wreath (anonymously) on the gravesite in 1954. This ritual continued until well into the 1990s when Mrs. Lingo identified herself to reporters.

Clues from these oral traditions should be investigated, particularly records created by the Mulford family. It’s possible that Bloom’s mother, Chloe, was enslaved by the Mulford family which meant that her children would belong to them. If so, it wasn’t pity that moved Abraham Mulford, but a legal obligation. 

NOTE: Jonathan Horton manumitted a woman named Bloom (age 25) in April 1805 (Southold Town Records, Volume 3 (Liber D): 50–51). This woman will be identified separately (see #1662) until further evidence is uncovered to clarify what if any relationship they may have had.

Source/s

J.W. Case, "Keder and His Family," Long Island Traveler, January 23, 1879.

Original record at Ancestry.com>U.S. Presbyterian Church Records 1701-1970>New York>Southold>First Presbyterian Church>Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths>1749-1832>image 251/340 [death]. Also found in Salmon Records: 74.

Newsday (New York), December 22, 1992, page 50. A similar story appeared in The Suffolk Times, December 23, 1993, page 15.

Files

Newsday_Tue__Dec_22__1992_.jpg
1879.Bloom_JW Case.JPG
1810.DEA.Bloom.JPG

Collection

Tags

Citation

“Bloom

,” Plain Sight Project, accessed November 29, 2021, https://plainsightproject.org/items/show/379.