CT HUMANITIES: JOHN HOOKER

An abolitionist, lawyer, and judge John Hooker (1816-1901) lived in Farmington and Hartford. With his brother-in-law, Francis Gillette, he purchased 140 acres in 1853, and they established the neighborhood known as “Nook Farm”. Nook Farm was the home of reformers, politicians, writers and friends; and Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain are the most residences there.

In John Hooker’s memoir Some Reminiscences of a Long Life, he mentioned that he was the son of Edward Hooker, who was the fifth in direct descent from Thomas Hooker, the first minister of the First Church of Hartford. (What page is this source? Please supply.)  (During Hooker’s youth, he was inspired by his ancestor of being reformers of Connecticut; he also had the sense of responsibility to help reform the local community.) John Hooker also experienced Amistad case first hand in Farmington, Connecticut. His memoir alludes to the fact that his law office in Farmington on the store’s second floor in the 1840s. His office was also next to an African men from Amistad captives. The building was originally on Main Street next to the Deming’s house, and later moved to the Mill Lane in the 1930s.

Farmington residence wanted Hooker to stay there and become the minister to preach; however, Hooker decided to move to Hartford to further his legal John Hooker was an active abolitionist throughout his legal career. For instance, he was instrumental in helping Reverend James Pennington gain his freedom from his Maryland slave owner for $150 when Reverend Pennington was a minister at the Talcott Street Congregational Church. This financial arrangement helped Pennington feel safe in the north, and Reverend Pennington returned from exile in Europe. John Hooker was also the president of an anti-slavery committee in Hartford and organized the liberty convention on October 27th, 1846.

Hooker and Beecher raised three children in their home in Nook Farm at the corner of Forest and Hawthorn Streets. Under his wife’s influence, he fought for women’s right and  supported Harriet Beecher Stowe during the initiation of her activist career. John and Isabella Beecher Hooker composed “A Woman’s Property Bill”, published in 1877. (page 13 print out)

John Hooker served as a congregational deacon but with his curiosity, he accepted the Spiritualism belief that it was possible to communicate with spirits.

External Links section (WEBSITES)

 

-Nook Farm page (that we need to make) and this house: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_at_36_Forest_Street

https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/hbs/nook_farm.shtml

-Thomas Hooker. Is he a descendant of this great figure of #CTHistory?

 

-Charter Oak (no wikipedia page)

http://cdm15019.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15019coll9/id/18049/rec/1 (page that mentions Hooker)

http://connecticuthistory.org/black-history-month-resources/

http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15019coll9 (connecticut history.org)

-A Woman’s Property Bill https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Notebooks/Pathfinders/HWProperty.PDF

-Tempest- Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker, Susan Campbell

https://books.google.com/books?id=4bX3AgAAQBAJ&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=john+hooker+abolitionist&source=bl&ots=1Sw9zPl0O9&sig=vkQNVaBRLkMRyXtJ65XYA9Ej6cM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUysbuhsHJAhUCVT4KHViIDIcQ6AEIPzAF#v=onepage&q=john%20hooker%20abolitionist&f=false

446, Labor, Slavery, and Self-Government, Volume 11, Herbert Baxter Adams,

https://books.google.com/books?id=bEY_AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA446&lpg=PA446&dq=john+hooker+connecticut+slave&source=bl&ots=yESupIdLuQ&sig=Ek18tQG5PJUKGcaSYrmPOi79fxA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjU_IXA68DJAhWI4D4KHVEQAHIQ6AEIRjAI#v=onepage&q=john%20hooker%20connecticut%20slave&f=false

-Hartford Historical Society

http://www.hartfordhistory.org/

-Farmington Historical Society

http://farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/

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