My Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Adrian Hubertus Van Bokkelen, lived the last part of his life in a slavery-centered community. He was born in Brielle, Netherlands in 1786. He went to New York, NY in the 1790s when his father Libertus had to leave the Netherlands in the run-up to the Napoleonic Wars. By 1819, he was a international merchant and trader in New York, but in 1830 removed from Brooklyn to North Carolina, where he died in New Bern in 1846. None of the records I've seen show him to have owned slaves, but at least one of his sons certainly did:

My Great-Great-Great Uncle Adrian Hubertus (no Jr. given in any source I've found) is recorded as selling 39 slaves in Wilmington, NH during 1855, one batch in August and the other in September. His slaves were not exceptionally happy, either; I've seen a notice regarding escaped slaves published over his name. His son, John Francis (Frink in some sources) Smith Van Bokkelen attended Harvard but died at Chancellorsville fighting for a North Carolina regiment.

There are other mentions of North Carolina Van Bokkelens owning slaves, but the initials given in the records don't match any individuals in my genealogy. However, given the uniqueness of our last name, this is probably a transcription error.

On the other side, the James Boyd I am named after was killed on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, fighting for a New York regiment. My Great-Great Grandfather David Pruyn Toll died young after being held prisoner in harsh conditions at Andersonville. Several of my Glen ancestors are named after well-known abolitionists. And my Great-Great Grandfather Libertus Van Bokkelen locked up the armory of the St. Timothy's Hall boarding school in Catonsville, MD on the eve of the Civil War, lest the largely southern student body arm themselves. Later, he lost his rectorship at St. Timothy's Church because he persisted in giving communion to African Americans.

A cousin, Charles Adrian Van Bokkelen, is best known for his 1880s court case against the Hatian government for continued imprisonment after assigning all his assets to settle debts. But before his bankruptcy he married a Hatian woman. They had two children, whose line continues to this day, with occasional contact with the US branch of the family.

James B. VanBokkelen