Free in Farmington: The Stories of Two Men Named Frank

Author: Tavvia Jefferson The history books are mostly silent about two free black men named Frank who lived in colonial Farmington. Christopher Bickford’s town history, Farmington in Connecticut, omits them entirely. Barbara Donahue’s book, Speaking for Ourselves: African American Life in Farmington, Connecticut is one of the few books to mention the men. There are no records documenting the dates of the births…

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Slavery, Liberty, and Revolutionary Connecticut

Author: Ryan Paolino An enslaved man refused to work further and upon his master’s inspection lashed out with a knife. The slave killed his former master and wounded the master’s son in the cheek. Both the son and mistress escaped without further harm. The Connecticut Journal, as well as the New-Haven Post-Boy, reported that the captive stole the knife and…

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The 1776 Election of Hartford’s Black Governor

Author: Chris Menapace From 1749 to 1855, Black communities around Connecticut elected leaders, named “Black Governors.” Little information is available on the men who held the title of Black Governor, but there is evidence of at least 27 individuals from 11 different towns, including Farmington.  This position of leadership among free and enslaved black people was not unique to Connecticut. …

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The Service of Africans from Connecticut in the American Revolution

Author: Kenneth Neal The American Revolutionary War era is consistently at the forefront of the consciousness of Americans, whether in touting the contributions of the founding fathers, or boldly asserting rights promised by the Constitution. The present day development of American Revolutionary War consciousness has been shaped by a selective use of the historical written record from the American Revolution…

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