Did Richard Fortune Earn his Freedom in the War?

While Titus Kent is an African-American Revolutionary War veteran recognized on Suffield Veterans Memorial, a classmate discovered that a Richard Fortune fought in the Connecticut Regiment, and he is listed as being from Suffield. This discovery made me reflect on my previous research where I read Katherine Harris’ introduction in African American Connecticut Explored, where she opens the collection of history with this reflection: “The coexistence of freedom and slavery shape the lives of people of African descent from their first arrival in the Connecticut colony.” I then read David O White’s work, Revolutionary War Service; Path to Freedom in the collection and began more research on Richard Fortune.

We were able to get more in depth about what an important Katherine Harris’ research was. Looking into her researching history about slavery and freedom in Suffield Connecticut, I was able to come across Richard Fortune. Just like Titus Kent, who has
been researched by one of my classmates was an important

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 10.40.55 AM.png

Researched on Ancestry.com

Richard Fortune was pa
rt of the Revolutionary War and entered into the army at the age of around 18. In the 1820’s there are records of the United States Federal Census. This record informs us that Richard Fortune had to be the age of 45 and up in the year 1820. It also gave us information on his spouse. His wife was Diana Fortune who was able to live longer than him and she received his pension benefits when she was his widow. There is also a record of
her age in the year 1820. It says she was in between 26 and 44 years of age. This is a broad range, but it gives us the idea that she was fairly younger than Mr.

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Researching on Ancestry.com

As a class we were hoping to get more background information if possible on Richard Fortune. Researching Titus Kent gave us a good deal of information on Connecticut Slavery and Freedom during 1774. Thus, so finding more information on another African American soldier would get us closer to answers we are looking for as a class. If we could find more information on Richard Fortune, that could be great for my class. Can anyone help us with more sources and resources to find out more about Richard Fortune’s life after the war?


4 thoughts on “Did Richard Fortune Earn his Freedom in the War?

  1. katherinekalill

    Hey Tyreek. It is awesome that you were able to come across Richard Fortune! I like that you discussed a bit about him and his similarities to Titus Kent as well as shared some information about his wife. Could you try to find a more specific age for his wife? I am also wondering the role Richard played in the war? You should try to take out the directions in the beginning of your blog in parentheses and replace them with citations as well as try to work on the fluency of your sentences. You could also add a picture and caption. Good work so far!


  2. lucacurry

    I like how you described your and what you think the classes goals should be moving forward.I also like how you go in depth about Richard Fortunes wife which just adds to the Fortunes background information. I thought maybe you could talk more about why and whats important about Katherine Harris, I also think that you should add a picture of what Fortune looked like.


  3. Jim

    Hi Bill Sullivan and students.

    Richard Fortune was not from Suffield.
    His wife’s name was “Dinah”.
    He came from a very very notable person before he got his freedom.
    He lived to the age of 88

    Have Bill Sullivan contact me (Jim Reeves) if has not already discovered this
    great man of color.



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