Blog Archives

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, 2014

…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: CT At Work: Hartford Area, Hartford, Literature, Who Knew?

Venture Smith's headstone

Venture Smith, from Slavery to Freedom

September 4, 2014

Smith’s account sheds light on the experience of enslaved and free blacks in 18th-century Connecticut.  …[more]

Categories: Connecticut History Day 2015, East Haddam, Slavery and Abolition, Stonington

Ensign Merle J. Smith, Jr.

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

June 8, 2014

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

Fredi Washington and her sister Isabel, 1930s

Remembering Fredi Washington: Actress, Activist, and Journalist

March 10, 2014

This actress earned acclaim for her portrayal of an African American woman who chooses to pass as white in order to escape racial discrimination but, in real life, she embraced her heritage and worked to end inequality.  …[more]

Categories: Arts, Popular Culture, Women

Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses, Bridgeport, photograph ca. 1998

Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses

February 27, 2014

Houses owned by Mary and Eliza Freeman are the only remnants of "Little Liberia," a settlement of free African Americans in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that began in 1831 and reached its highest population just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.  …[more]

Categories: Bridgeport, Civil War, Derby, Historic Preservation, Women

Advertisement from The Hartford Daily Courant, October 8, 1852

Augustus Washington (1820 – 1875): African American Daguerreotypist

February 26, 2014

Though his work depicts people of different classes and cultures, ironically, no portraits of African Americans survive from his years in Hartford. …[more]

Categories: CT At Work: Hartford Area, Everyday Life, Hartford, Slavery and Abolition

Underground Railroad Agents in Connecticut

New Britain Plays Part in the Underground Railroad

February 24, 2014

The Underground Railroad, developed in the early 19th century, was a system of safe havens designed to help fugitive slaves escape to freedom. Traveling on foot, by wagon, on horseback, …[more]

Categories: CT At Work: Hartford Area, New Britain, Slavery and Abolition

Charles Ethan Porter, Fruit: Apples, Grapes, Peaches, and Pears

Charles Ethan Porter, African American Still-life Painter

February 18, 2014

Charles Ethan Porter was a prolific still life painter in the 19th and early 20th century. Little is known about Porter’s early life; however, it is known that he moved …[more]

Categories: Arts, CT At Work: Coventry Area, Vernon

View of Cheney Hollow before it was flooded to form Andover Lake - Scott Yeomans

Andover Lake: A Lesson in Social Change

February 16, 2014

Constructed in the early 20th century, Andover Lake is a man-made recreation area. While residents of Andover and other nearby towns enjoy swimming and boating on the property’s 159 acres, …[more]

Categories: Andover, Law, Social Movements, Sports and Recreation

Am I not a man and a brother?

Early Anti-slavery Advocates in 18th-century Connecticut

February 15, 2014

Ideals advanced during the American Revolution inspired many of the state’s religious and political leaders to question and oppose slavery in the late 1700s. …[more]

Categories: Law, Politics and Government, Slavery and Abolition, Social Movements, Timothy Dwight

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