Sabe and Rose
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    Soon after Elias Haskett Derby's death, Sabe decided to leave the Derbys' service. Together with John Simmons, Sabe purchased a piece of land near what is now Gedney Court in Salem.

    Sabe is referred to as Sabe Derby in the record of sale in the year 1800. It was not uncommon for freed people to take the last name of their former enslaver. People in Salem may have started referring to Sabe and Rose with the Derby surname, the common practice of describing enslaved people and free servants by their association with a white family. And by associating with the powerful and wealthy Derby family, Sabe may have hoped that the family’s reputation would extend to him too. Whatever the reason, it reflects the continued lived connection between Sabe and Rose and the Derby household, even after his former enslaver’s death.  

    In the record of sale, Sabe Derby and his partner are referred to as "shop-keepers." They paid $250 for the property. It is likely that Sabe used his back wages, paid as part of Elias Hasket Derby's estate settlement, to purchase the property with intentions to open a store. We do not know if Rose, remained in the Derby family's employ.

    Image Description

    "Chart of the harbours of Salem, Marblehead, Beverly, and Manchester : from a survey taken in the years 1804, 5 & 6," 1804.

    Created by Nathaniel Bowditch; assisted by George Burchmore & William Ropes, 3d. ; Hooker & Fairman, sc.

    Courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library. View the map here.