Since the Code of 1650, which required children be taught English, catechism, and knowledge of the law, Connecticut has sought to educate residents and so equip them for productive citizenship. Higher education began early, with Yale’s founding in 1701. Public education evolved from the independent one-room schoolhouses that predominated through the late 1800s to the consolidated school districts and grade-specific classrooms familiar today. Throughout state history, champions have arisen to expand access to education. These include Prudence Crandall, who, in 1833, established the first academy in New England for African American women, and the American School for the Deaf, which has served the hard of hearing and deaf since 1817.


University of Connecticut, Commencement

UConn and the Evolution of a Public University

From farming and war work to physics and sports, the University of Connecticut has diversified over the years and become New England’s leading public university. …[more]

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The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revoultion. “Nathan Hale Schoolhouse - New London,” 2016. Link.
West Hartford Historical Society. “Noah Webster House,” 2016. Link.
State of Connecticut: Department of Economic & Community Development. “Prudence Crandall Museum, Canterbury,” n.d. Link.
Litchfield Historical Society. “Tapping Reeve House Virtual Tour,” 2017. Link.


Wooster, Abigail Ursula. Abigail Ursula Wooster’s Sampler. 1824. Needlework. Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut History Illustrated. Link.
Judson, Andrew. “Broadside: Barbarism: Who Are Now the Savages? The Indians, the Georgians, or the Persecutors of the Noble Mind-Ed Miss Prudence Crandall, of Canterbury, and Her Excellent Pupil Miss Eliza Ann Hammond of Providence? Will Andrew T. Judson, for Himself and His Canter,” 1833. Connecticut Museum of Culture and History. Link.
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Robinson, Miranda. Miranda Robinson’s Sampler. 1839. Needlework. Connecticut Museum of Culture and History. Link.
Webster, Noah. The Elementary Spelling Book: Being an Improvement on “The American Spelling-Book.” New York, NY: D. Appleton & Company, 1857. Link.


Strane, Susan. A Whole-Souled Woman: Prudence Crandall and the Education of Black Women. New York: W.W. Norton, 1990.
Stemmons, Walter, and André Schenker. Connecticut Agricultural College, a History. Storrs, CT: Connecticut Agricultural College, 1931.
Collier, Christopher. Connecticut’s Public Schools: A History, 1650-2000. Orange, CT: Clearwater Press, 2009.
Andrew, John. Educating the Heathen: The Foreign Mission School Controversy and American Ideals. Cornwall, CT: Cornwall Historical Society, 1988.
Stave, Bruce M. Red Brick in the Land of Steady Habits: Creating the University of Connecticut, 1881-2006. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, 2006.
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Griffin, Orwin Bradford. The Evolution of the Connecticut State School System, with Special Reference to the Emergence of the High School. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1928.
Cornwall Historical Society, and Paul Chamberlain. The Foreign Mission School. Cornwall, CT: Cornwall Historical Society Inc., 1968.
Demos, John. The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
Steiner, Bernard C. The History of Education in Connecticut. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1893. 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.