Sebastian, Emmanuel, 1817 - 1901
Emmanuel (Manuel) Sebastian was born around 1817 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He sailed from Cape Verde to Mystic aboard a ship captained by Silas Beebe. Beebe provided him with a small house at Goat Point on the Beebe farm. Manuel lived there until he married Tamer Brushell on December 3, 1848.
The couple settled at Cow Hill in the house of Captain Albert Burrows and raised their family. According to Manuel’s obituary, the heirs to the Silas Beebe estate bought the Burrows house and gave the Sebastians a life lease.
With Manuel Sebastian concentrating on farming, the Sebastian family grew large. In 1860, the family was living in Center Groton with children, Moses E. m. (b. 1849), Calvin H. (b, 1853), Francisco (b. 1852), Maria (Mary) (b. 1855), Solomon (b. 1858), and Albert D. (born in 1858). Ten years later, the Sebastian family was enumerated on a farm valued at $500, at Mystic River in Groton, working as a farm laborer. His personal estate was $100. Tamer was a homemaker taking care of Mary, Albert, Solomon, and new additions Sylvia (1861), Tamer Emiline (1865), Sarah E. (1867). Solomon and Albert, ages 12 and 10, worked on the farm with their father.
Oral history has the Sebastians living on the reservation in a house "east of the road and north of the brook." The tract of land was sold in 1879 to Sarah H. Mallory. Census records indicate that in 1880, Manuel and Tamer lived with three of their daughters, Silvia (age 19), Tamer (age 17), and Sarah (age 12, the two younger children going to school.
In 1892, Sebastian was the subject of a number of whimsical photographs by the New London photography shop of Scholfield & Tingley. He also won handily Mystic's Person of the Year. By 1900, he was at the Fishtown section of Groton, now 84, living with his daughter Jane. Emmanuel Sebastian died the following summer of old age. The Sebastians were devoted members of the Union Baptist Church in Mystic. Manuel joined the church in 1867. Every Wednesday, he would go to prayer meetings there to offer devotions. A local person recalled that he closed his prayers with the words "if I have my health and strength, I hope to make Heaven my home."
NNRC Research Notes. Federal Enumeration of Connecticut (Groton 1860, 1870, 1900). Groton Vital Records, Deaths. Alla Lynne Perkins Allyn, Mystic & Noank Library. Photograph of Sebastian from Mystic Seaport. Other photographs can be found here and here.
Died:July 16 1901