The Life of Thomas Downing Chapter 4: The Oyster King of New York

The Bivalve Trail

Jan 27 2021 • 30 mins

The finale to the tale of Thomas Downing, the son of emancipated slaves from Chincoteague Island on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He lived a life of hard work, fierce determination, and a hunger for redefining what proceeded him. Thomas had something in common with the all-in-one filtration system that is the little oyster; he left the world a better place than he found it.

THE BIVALVE TRAIL is produced by the Chincoteague Island Theatre Company and the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance. Project partner is the Museum of Chincoteague Island. Researched, written, and told by Lexi Hubb. Podcast artwork by Angela Heady. Recording and post-production by Longtayle Studios. Music by Bill Troxler.

Vocals from James Rich, Cliff Murden, Thom Nolan, and Bill Troxler.

For sources used and photos, go to