Blog Archives

Image of Soldiers Memorial, Company B, 29th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers

Connecticut’s Black Civil War Regiment

November 23, 2015

"If you win freedom and citizenship, we shall share your freedom and citizenship." With these words, abolitionist Frederick Douglass reminded African American soldiers from Connecticut that they fought for the hopes of many. …[more]

Categories: Civil War, Slavery and Abolition, War and Defense

Detail from the broadside an "Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly" composed by Jupiter Hammon

Hartford Publishes the First Literary Work by an African American – Who Knew?

October 17, 2015

…that Jupiter Hammon, who endured life-long enslavement became the first African American writer to be published in America when his 88-line poem, “An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ with Penitential …[more]

Categories: Hartford, Literature, Who Knew?

Prudence Crandall

Prudence Crandall Fights for Equal Access to Education

September 9, 2015

A headmistress champions education for African American women and although forced to close her school in 1834, she helped win the battle for generations that followed.  …[more]

Categories: Canterbury, Education, Law, Prudence Crandall, Women

Ensign Merle J. Smith, Jr.

Academy Graduates First African American Student – Today in History: June 8

June 8, 2015

On June 8, 1966, the US Coast Guard Academy in New London graduated the first African American student, Ensign Merle James Smith, Jr. Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree …[more]

Categories: Education, New London

Photograph of President Lyndon Johnson Signing the Voting Rights Act with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Other Civil Rights Leaders in the Capitol Rotunda, August 6, 1965 - National Archives

Selma, Not So Far Away

March 11, 2015

Father Leonard Tartaglia was sometimes called Hartford’s “Hoodlum Priest.” Like the 1961 film of the same name, Tartaglia ministered to the city’s poor and disenfranchised.  …[more]

Categories: Greenwich, Hartford, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Social Movements, Stamford, Waterbury

Civil Rights picket, US Courthouse, Hartford

“U.S. Troops in Viet Nam, but none in Selma” – Today in History: March 9

March 9, 2015

On March 9, 1965, protesters held an all-night vigil in front of Connecticut Governor John Dempsey’s residence. Representatives of Hartford’s civil rights movement, led by members of the North End …[more]

Categories: Hartford, Social Movements, Vietnam War

Commissary Sergeant 29th Regiment

Connecticut 29th Mustered into Service – Today in History: March 8

March 8, 2015

On March 8, 1864, the state’s first African American regiment, the Connecticut Twenty-Ninth (Colored) Regiment, C.V. Infantry, mustered into service to fight for the Union’s cause in the Civil War. …[more]

Categories: Civil War, War and Defense

Attributed to Osbert Burr Loomis, Nancy Toney, oil on canvas

Nancy Toney’s Lifetime in Slavery

March 1, 2015

From scant evidence, including a portrait, gravestone, census data, and will, a partial image of a Connecticut life lived in slavery emerges. …[more]

Categories: Everyday Life, Slavery and Abolition, Windsor, Women

James Mars

James Mars’ Words Illuminate the Cruelty of Slavery in New England

February 28, 2015

Mars’ landmark memoir of the mid-1800s reveals how enslaved men and women suffered—and resisted—the injustices of bondage.  …[more]

Categories: Canaan, Norfolk, Slavery and Abolition

Detail from a map of Hayt

Ebenezer Bassett’s Historic Journey

February 27, 2015

This educator, activist, and associate of Frederick Douglass served the US as its first African American ambassador. …[more]

Categories: Civil War, Derby, New Haven, Politics and Government, Slavery and Abolition

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