A cay of 49 acres granted to Samuel Fox in the current settlement of Old Gray’s is shown only on the Tatnall map, circa 1792, but there is evidence that Samuel, John, and Joseph Fox had arrived on Long Island prior to 1776, at least. Unfortunately, the land is not accurately depicted on either of the two primary mapsets we used for this project.
There are four Samuel Foxes listed in the 1734 Census as living on New Providence. Two are listed as white and two as mulatto or free negroes. We believe that the Samuel Fox granted land on Long Island was most likely a “free black or mulatto.” Samuel Fox married Maria before 1775 in New Providence. They had three children, vis: Sarah, William, and Mary—who was born 24 May 1775.
It is probable that their antecedent Ephraim Fox was one of the original Eleutheran Adventurers who arrived in the Bahamas in 1647. The Foxes and Knowles were two of the earliest Long Island settlers, having arrived no later than 1776. The early Long Island families were probably the persons of color living in a tightknit community in Nassau with other free mulatto and black families mentioned by other historians. The first settlement on Long Island (with Fox, Knowles, and Simms families) was at The Crossing, now the south end of Salt Pond settlement.
There is a second Samuel Fox listed as a grantee in Upper Tatnall’s that we have coded as a Presumed Late Grantee. We do not know the relationship, if any, between the two, but the subject grantee is Samuel Fox, an Old Inhabitant, whose original land grant was the small Cay off of Old Gray’s.