Author Archives: lstc17

Traitor in Pomfret, CT

My class has been investigating about Patriots and Loyalists in Pomfret, CT in 1774, and my research led me to Nathan Frink who was born in Pomfret in 1757 and lived there around 1774. Frink was a successful lawyer and ultimately described as a traitor. His sister married Israel Putnam’s youngest son, Schuyler Putnam, which made him an in-law of Israel Putnam’s family. Putnam was a noted military man, a Son of Liberty, and Patriot during the Revolutionary War. Because of this marriage, Nathan Frink pretended to be a Patriot, but he did not see a future for him with the Patriot cause and became King’s Attorney. He took on the position of “deputy stamp-master of the north part of Windham County” and built an office near Rectory School’s campus to manage the stamps. However, the Pomfret residents never let him open it, and kicked him out of town.

Benedict Arnold

Subsequently, Frink offered his services to the British commander in New York. As a loyalist, he served as a Captain in the King’s American Legion, the unit raised by Benedict Arnold after his defection, and during the British raid on New London and Groton (1781), Frink acted as an aide and guide to Benedict Arnold.  A quote from the book History of Windham County Connecticut shows us the reaction of his family and friends. Frink’s “aged father most piteously bemoaned ‘that he had lost his son…[and everything that] was dear to him,’ and soon went down into the grave mourning. His sister, the wife of Schuyler Putnam, a large circle of family connections, and all the earnest patriots of Pomfret and its vicinity were overwhelmed with grief, shame, and resentment at this ’mournful defection.’”

After the American Legion disbanded, Nathan Frink resettled to Saint-Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada with other Loyalists in 1783. He lived there until his death on Dec 4, 1817, and he was buried at the Loyalist Burial Ground in Saint-Stephen. The inscription on his gravestone reads “In memory of/Capt. Nathan Frink/who died/Dec 4, 1817/in the 60th year/of his age.”  Additional evidence that he was a loyalist is his listing in the directory of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC).

Loyalist Burial Ground in Saint-Stephen


Griggs, Susan J. Early Homesteads of Pomfret and Hampton. Salem, MA: Higginson Book, 1984. Print.

Larned, Ellen D. History of Windham County, Connecticut. N.p.: Swordsmith Edition, 2000. Print.

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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