Abolition of Slavery

My class is finding out about freedom and slavery in 1774. I’m doing this research because I want to know what happened in the northeast corner of Connecticut in or around the town of Pomfret. While reading the blog entry, Preaching the Abolition of Slavery, I learned about an abolitionist named Anthony Benezet who was a school teacher in Philadelphia, and he also taught African-American students in his home. Benezet was born in France in 1713. To escape persecution (as Huguenots), his parents immigrated to England and then to America. Benezet eventually became a Quaker.  With the help of other Quakers, he set up a school for black children called the African Free School in Philadelphia. He treated white students and black students equally.


Prudence Crandall

The research about Benezet linked to and eventually led me to my next investigation about Prudence Crandall and her school in Canterbury, CT., which is located just south of Pomfret. Prudence was born into a Quaker family in 1803 in Hopkinton R.I. In 1831 she opened an academy on the green in Canterbury for wealthy local girls. A year later, she became a symbol of African-American education when she admitted Sarah Harris, a 20-year-old black woman. Harris wanted to be a teacher because she wanted other African-Americans to become educated. Many local white residents demanded that Harris is removed from the school, or they would withdraw their daughters. However, Crandall refused their request and established a school dedicated exclusively to the teaching of African-American girls. She started to recruit other African-American girls. The Connecticut residents were on the opposite side and refused to tolerate a school for young women of color. Finally, the state of Connecticut passed the “Black Law” and put Crandall into jail for one day. She faced three trials, but the case was dismissed in 1834. However, local residents attacked the school, forcing Crandall to close the school and leave.


Prudence Crandall’s Academy

Sources: http://cwhf.org/inductees/education-preservation/prudence-crandall#.WNu4k4jyu00



One thought on “Abolition of Slavery

  1. katherinekalill

    P: I like how you gave us a background about what your class is working on and linked it into your specific topic. Great and interesting blog post about Crandall. She became an abolitionist because of the people before her. How long did her family live in Canterbury before she opened her school? Keep up the good work!
    Q: While doing your research did you use any PBL skills? How did these skills help you with your post and how do you think they will help you in the future? Could you add more information about the “Black Law” and how it affected Crandall?
    P: You have great background information on Anthony Benezet; however, you should add more about the golden rule that he advocated as well as his ideas on natural rights. Prudence Crandall is such an influential person in CT history, have you ever seen her statue in the State Capitol building? Perhaps you could add some information on how she is commemorated today. You are off to a great start on your research!



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