Categories: Everyday Life, Social Movements, Women

Black History Month Resources

Segregation Picket line-Noah Webster School, Hartford
Segregation Picket line-Noah Webster School, Hartford - Hartford Times Collection, Hartford History Center, Hartford Public Library and Connecticut History Online

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), to raise awareness of the contributions African Americans made to the economic, social, and political history of the United States. The association first celebrated Negro History Week in February of 1926 focusing the event on the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. The week was expanded to a month in 1976 and became officially recognized by the US Government when President Gerald R. Ford urged the country to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans.” Every president since President Ford has issued a proclamation declaring February, African American History Month.

Black History Month offers the opportunity to investigate Connecticut’s complicated past in regard to slavery and abolition. For example, one can search through digitized copies of the anti-slavery newspaper the Charter Oak, a weekly begun in 1838, by visiting the Connecticut State Library’s Newspapers of Connecticut collection. Published by the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society of Hartford, the Charter Oak’s masthead carried the motto “Free Principles–Free Men–Free Speech–And A Free Press.” In contrast, the State Library’s collections also provide online access to nine pages of a logbook of Samuel Gould, a Connecticut native who was a first mate aboard three slave ships. The digitized collection,  Log Book of Slave Traders between New London and Africa, 1757-8, affords a glimpse into the daily activities of a slave ship that participated in the triangle trade, one leg of which included Connecticut’s trade with the West Indies. The log’s details include an account of an amoebic dysentery epidemic that killed many of the enslaved African children and adults being transported.

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Websites

“Amistad: Seeking Freedom in Connecticut - A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary.” National Park Service, 2012. Link.
“Ann Petry.” Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, n.d. Link.
“Beyond Complicity.” The Hartford Courant, 2013. Link.
“Citizens ALL: African Americans in Connecticut 1700-1850.” Yale University, Gilder Lerhman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, 2007. Link.
“Citizens ALL: African Americans in Connecticut 1700-1850 - The Attack on Black Citizenship in Connecticut.” Yale University, Gilder Lerhman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, 2007. Link.
“Connecticut’s ‘Black Governors’.” Connecticut State Library, 2005. Link.
“Constance Baker Motley.” Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, 2013. Link.
“Edythe J. Gaines.” Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, 2013. Link.
“Laura Wheeler Waring.” Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, 2013. Link.
“Marian Anderson.” Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, 2013. Link.
“Martha Minerva Franklin.” Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, 2013. Link.
“Rachel Taylor Milton.” Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, 2013. Link.
“The Black Law of Connecticut (1833) - Citizens ALL: African Americans in Connecticut 1700-1850.” Yale University, The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, 2007. Link.
“The Freedom Trail in Farmington: Underground Railroad & Amistad Sites.” Farmington Historical Society, 2009. Link.
“The Story of Yale Abolitionists.” Yale, Slavery & Abolition, 2007. Link.

Places

“29th Colored Regiment Monument.” Connecticut Freedom Trail, 2012. Link.
“Connecticut Freedom Trail,” 2012. Link.
“Greater New Haven African American Historical and Cultural Society,” 2012. Link.
“Hartford African American Heritage Trail,” 2010. Link.
“Prudence Crandall Museum.” Department of Economic & Community Development, 2012. Link.
“The Amistad Center for Art & Culture,” 2008. Link.
“Underground Railroad Trail Map.” Connecticut Freedom Trail, 2013. Link.

Documents

Smith, Venture. “A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa: But Resident Above Sixty Years in the United States of America.” C. Holt, 1798. Link.
“Acts and Laws of the State of Connecticut, in America - Slaves.” Governor and Company of the State of Connecticut, 1784. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Link.
Hammon, Jupiter. “Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly, Ethiopian Poetess, in Boston, Who Came from Africa at Eight Years of Age, and Soon Became Acquainted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ ... Composed by Jupiter Hammon, a Negro Man Belonging to Mr. Joseph Lloyd, of Queen’s Village, on Long-Island, Now in Hartford.” Hartford, 1778. Connecticut History Online, Connecticut Historical Society. Link.
“Broadside - Twenty-Ninth Regiment, Conn. Volunteer Infantry (colored).” J. C. Fuller & Company, 1880. Connecticut State Library. Link.
“Charter Oak - Digital Newspaper Archive.” Connecticut State Library, 2012. Link.
“Finding Aid to African American Resources.” Connecticut Historical Society, 2013. Link.
“Finding Aid to Documents and Records Related to Prudence Crandall.” Connecticut State Library, 2012. Link.
“Research Guide to African-American Genealogical Resources.” Connecticut State Library, 2012. Link.
“Research Guide to Materials Relating to Slavery in Connecticut.” Connecticut State Library, 2012. Link.
“Research Guide to the ‘Amistad Affair’.” Connecticut State Library, 2012. Link.
“Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.” Emory University, 2009. Link.

Books

Caron, Denis. A Century in Captivity: The Life and Trials of Prince Mortimer, a Connecticut Slave. Hanover, NH: University of New Hampshire Press, 2006.
Hill, Isaac. A Sketch of the 29th Regiment of Connecticut Colored Troops Giving a Full Account of Its Formation, of All the Battles Through Which It Passed, and Its Final Disbandment. New York, NY: Baker & Godwin  Printers, 1881. Link.
Hammon, Jupiter, Stanley Austin Ransom, and Oscar Wegelin. America’s First Negro Poet; the Complete Works of Jupiter Hammon of Long Island. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1970.
McCain, Diana, and Connecticut Historical Society. Black Women of Connecticut: Achievements Against the Odds. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Historical Society, 1984.
White, David Oliver. Connecticut’s Black Soldiers, 1775-1783. Chester, CT: Pequot Press, 1973.
Mycek, Mary J., Marian K. O’Keefe, and Carolyn B. Ivanoff. Ebenezer D. Bassett (1833-1908). Derby, CT: Valley Historical Research Committee, 2008.
Newton, A. H. Out of the Briars: An Autobiography and Sketch of the Twenty-Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. Philadelphia, PA: A.M.E. Book Concern, 1910. Link.
Welch, Marvis Olive. Prudence Crandall: A Biography. Manchester, CT: Jason Publishers, 1983.
Edwards, Jonathan. The Injustice and Impolicy of the Slave Trade and of the Slavery of the Africans. Boston: Wells and Lilly, 1822. Link.
May, Samuel J., and Andrew T. Judson. The Right of Colored People to Education, Vindicated: Letters to Andrew T. Judson, Esq. and Others in Canterbury, Remonstrating with Them on Their Unjust and Unjustifiable Procedure Relative to Miss Crandall and Her School for Colored Females. Brooklyn, CT: Advertiser Press, 1833. Link.
Strother, Horatio T. The Underground Railroad in Connecticut. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1962. Link.
McCain, Diana. To All on Equal Terms: The Life and Legacy of Prudence Crandall. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, 2004.
Stewart, James Brewer. Venture Smith and the Business of Slavery and Freedom. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010.
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