Expansion and Reform (1801–1861)
The early 19th century witnessed America struggling to forge a post-revolutionary identity. Having come off success in its battle for independence, the explosive growth of cotton and slavery in the South facilitated divisive debates about the rights of all men to be free. These debates affected Connecticut slaveholders and abolitionists alike, manifesting themselves in such stories as those of Prudence Crandall and John Brown. Meanwhile, Connecticut slowly established itself as one of America’s most prominent manufacturing states, providing the country with iron, brass, rubber, textiles, clocks, gunpowder, and armaments. Facilitating the growth of these industries was a renewed focus on transportation infrastructure that brought about the construction of new roads and ambitious projects such as the Farmington and Windsor Locks canals.
More on Expansion and Reform 1801-1861 from the CT Digital ArchiveBrowse more interactive content on the CT Digital Archive website.
A Different Look at the Amistad Trial: The Teenager Who Helped Save the Mende Captives
James Benajmin Covey, a former slave, was only 14 years old when asked to serve in one of the most publicized trials in American history. …[more]
Connecticut Freedom Trail. “Underground Railroad Trail Map,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut’s Old State House,” 2017. Link.
“Farmington Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“Harriet Beecher Stowe Center,” 2017. Link.
Torrington Historical Society. “John Brown Birthplace,” 2016. Link.
“Naugatuck Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“New Haven Museum,” 2017. Link.
Connecticut Freedom Trail. “Prudence Crandall House,” 2016. Link.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. “The Amistad Center for Art & Culture,” 2016. Link.
Farmington Valley Trails Council. “The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail,” 2016. Link.
“The Litchfield Historical Society,” 2017. Link.
Connecticut Freedom Trail. “William Lanson Site,” 2016. 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.
Judson, Andrew. “Broadside: Barbarism: Who Are Now the Savages?,” 1833. Connecticut History Illustrated, Connecticut Historical Society. Link.
Colt, Samuel. “Broadside: Colt’s Patent Repeating Pistols, Army, Navy, and Pocket Sizes.,” 1850. Connecticut Historical Society. Link.
National Museum of American History. “John Brown’s Sharps Rifle,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “New London County Court African Americans and People of Color Collection - Inventory of Records,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Newspapers of Connecticut: Charter Oak (ca. 1838-1843) - Digital Newspaper Archive,” n.d. Link.
Goodyear, Charles. Patent Number 3,462 - Manufacture of India Rubber Goods. US3462 A. New York, NY, issued March 9, 1844. Link.
Yale University, The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition. “The Black Law of Connecticut (1833) - Citizens ALL: African Americans in Connecticut 1700-1850 - PDF,” 2016. Link.
Barber, John Warner. A History of the Amistad Captives: Being a Circumstantial Account of the Capture of the Spanish Schooner Amistad, by the Africans on Board: Their Voyage, and Capture Near Long Island, New York: With Biographical Sketches of Each of the Surviving Africans; Also, an Account of the Trials Had on Their Case, Before the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, for the District of Connecticut. John W. Barber, 1840. Link.
Morse, Jarvis Means. A Neglected Period of Connecticut’s History, 1818-1850. New Haven; London: Yale University Press; H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1933.
Normen, Elizabeth J., ed. African American Connecticut Explored. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2013.
Lawrance, Benjamin Nicholas. Amistad’s Orphans: An Atlantic Story of Children, Slavery, and Smuggling. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014.
MacMullen, Edith Nye. In the Cause of True Education: Henry Barnard & Nineteenth-Century School Reform. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991.
DeLuca, Richard. Post Roads & Iron Horses: Transportation in Connecticut from Colonial Times to the Age of Steam. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2011.
Strother, Horatio T. The Underground Railroad in Connecticut. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1962. Link.
Menschel, David. “Abolition Without Deliverance: The Law of Connecticut Slavery 1784-1848.” Yale Law Journal 111, no. 183 (September 24, 2001). Link.