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I just received an interesting email comment about this, which suggested the possibility that Peter Pierson could have been a descendant of the miller on Van Cortlandt Plantation but ALSO enslaved by Alexander Macomb. That is entirely possible. Local people did sell enslaved people to one another. The Macombs, like the Van Cortlandts, operated mills on their property. The Macomb mill was much larger and was powered by the shifting tides on the Spuyten Duyvil Creek. It was located just next to the King’s Bridge. The below image is from a later date, of course.
Also, I wanted to share this very well done video series about Cesar, the enslaved miller that lived and worked at Frederick Philipse’s mills in Sleepy Hollow. It stands to reason that the mill in today’s Van Cortlandt Park would have looked very similar:
Part 1 – The Miller and His Apprentice
Part 2 – Caesar’s Skills
Part 3 – Recognition for Caesar