Sons of liberty
I am currently enrolled in a Project Base Learning class. We are going to learn about what happened in Suffield, Connecticut, during 1774, specifically regarding the topics of freedom and slavery. We created a blog to share what we learned about our town’s history. My first topic was The Boston Tea Party. My role in the group was to find the essential background information, including where and when the event occurred and most importantly, why this is special about this event. when I dug deeper in that topic, I found that Sons of Liberty had a huge role in this events, so my second HOT Log is about the Son of Liberty.
The Sons of Liberty was an underground organization, and some people argue that they created the thirteen colonies. This organization was created in order to protect the colonies’ rights. The first major role was played in 1765 during the Stamp Act. And other well known event for Son of Liberty is Boston Tea party. Before this tea party event happened, the underground corporation gathered at their meeting place, known as the liberty tree. After their meeting they planned to dress as a native American and sneak in to the East Indian Tea company and threw the tea into the harbor.
In the Sons of liberty organization, I learned that Sons of Liberty fought for the colonies right. So during the Boston Tea Party, they dressed as native American and sneaked in to the East Indian Company ships and threw the tea into the ocean. This event created tensions among the residents grew and a violent protest began.
Once I dug deeper in the Boston Tea Party, I found out that The Sons of Liberty party a huge role in Boston Tea Party and in what ways does Sons of Liberty impact Boston Tea Party. This protest inspired other colonies to support the Sons of liberty. This organization quickly grew. We will try to learn if the Sons of liberty had an effect on the residents of Suffield. Was this an inspiration of freedom for them? This project requires many different kinds of skills. First, a skill that is required is a researching skill. Then, I have to read many articles about Boston Tea Party and process a good deal information; however, I have to use maturity and wisdom to observe which information is biased and unbiased. The other skill that I have to work on is networking. Since my topic plays a significant role on background information to our public presentation, I have built a fact-based collection of information to share with my classmates so that their sources are trustworthy. One of the best ways to find out about the factual-base information is to contact the history or someone who have an easy access to the information. In my case, I will contact the Massachusetts library by tweeting or emailing them
Titus Kent’s name is on this memorial of soldiers that fought in the Revolution
Document on Titus Kent, taken from ancestory.com
In our class’ research we have been looking into Suffield Connecticut, and freedom in 1774. Most recently I have been researching Titus Kent and his background history. Titus Kent is the father of Old Ti. He was a slave to Samuel Kent, the father of Elihu Kent. Samuel promised Elihu to give him Titus after he died. While belonging to Elihu, he went off to war, fighting in the Revolution. Most likely he did this to gain his freedom; however, it is unknown if he attained his freedom from fighting in the Revolution. During the time slave owners would apply for the slave to get a pension, and this is the case with Titus Kent. His pension is filled in so that people other than himself would be able to collect his pension.
While we know that Titus fought in the Revolution, there are many more factors that we do not yet know about his situation. One of these could be the pension, and if Titus even wanted to apply for a pension? Whether or not if Titus Kent attained his freedom, and why exactly Samuel Kent had given him to Elihu Kent. I want to look further into whether or not he finally got his freedom, and his legacy in the town of Suffield.
Can you please help us locate a secondary source to help us appreciate the significance of the document? The document was created in Suffield, Connecticut, in August of 1774. The town created a committee, and the committee composed these resolves and sent the document to the Committee of Correspondence in Boston. The town also sent a wagon of food to the residents of Boston. We are researching freedom and slavery during 1774 in our town of Suffield, Connecticut. Below are the resolves from the New York Public Library page.
Resolves from NYPL page
Transcription of Resolves, Suffield Historical Society
My class and I are trying to tell the «untold» history of Suffield, Connecticut. What happened in 1774 after the Boston Tea Party? How did it affect its citizens? What was the town’s reaction? These are the questions we hope to answer within ten weeks. There is no other choice. All thirteen of us are well equipped, stubborn and curious to find the truth.
For the past two months I was looking for specific slave’s names who were owned by other people in Suffield. The search turned out to be not so useless. It is not a big discovery that slavery was common in the eighteenth century, but I found CT Census proving that Suffield,Ma had thirty seven slaves and they were owned by wealthy people in the town, tavern owners and ministers. Owner ,John Pynchon, of the town of Suffield in 1670 had two slaves, Harry and Roco. After finding these two names, I though that was a dead end. However, we all remembered one of the most known libraries in the United States- New York Public Library. We spent solid amount of time going through different documents and books in the New York Public Library, and one day suddenly we found our holy grail, «History of Suffield in the colony and province of the Massachusetts bay. 1600-1749». Where on the twenty first page it is written in black ink that Harry and Roco were the ones who built the first ever saw-mill in Suffield, Ma and that they got paid for their hard work, one pound. Not to mention, major’s house in Feather Streete was built partly with Harry and Roco’s help. (1)
Another great discovery was made with NYPL’s cooperation. I found three pages of a document were found written on August 1st 1774 after eight months the Boston Tea Party occurred. (2) Alex King, the person who these documents belonged was going from Boston through the town of Suffield. The document consists on five statements and demands of the Colonial Government to the British Parliament. The Colonial representatives want to reduce the British influence on the thirteen colonies. The document also explains the need in the Boston Tea Party. «When the Liberties and people are attacked and in danger it becomes their indisputable duty to defend…» America is ready to take the next step and be absolutely free from the British crown.
After looking deeper into the origins of slavery in Connecticut I have found out the location – town where majority of slaves were exported from. New London is a port city in the northeast of the United States. This town was used as a slave port. The biggest increase of the slave trade came in the period of 1749-1774. It was the biggest slave port of new England. Connecticut was getting one third of its slaves from New London. I think that this information is going to be extremely helpful for my part of the research, I hope to be able to track of slaves that came to Connecticut, and then Suffield from very first years and dates. This history seems very interesting to me. This was the earliest mentioning of slaves related to Connecticut that were imported from inner states.
New London people prohibited African American people to own or buy land, and go into the business without consent of the town. If African Americans were to break the law, they would get exiled from the town.
Connecticut Western Reserve – Thaddeus Leavitt was one of the original eight purchasers.
On my previous HOT Log, I researched in detail “Mum Bett” and how she was able to publically gain freedom. Her freedom was made possible because of the Sheffield resolves. This got me thinking about the different classes, and wondering what the higher classes had to do with slavery. Our class then found Thaddeus Leavitt. He was born in 1750, and by 1774 he was a shop owner and entrepreneur in Suffield. His family was very well known. He married Elizabeth King, daughter of Ensign William King and Lucy Hatheway of Suffield. All three of these last names are very prominent in our research toward 1774. While I researched more, my classmate, Tanner, found diaries of Leavitts. That is when I decided to do some detailed research. I found out that he had a great partnership with individuals from Windsor, importing lots of goods from West Indies. He included receipts and whooping cough medicine ingredients and where exactly he imported the goods from. My initial question was if he ever went to the New London port to sell goods. After in depth researching in his diaries, I soon realized that on March 16th 1786 in his 5th diary entry that they were doing business! It reads,“I this day hear that the Brigg Mercury (his boat) has arrived at New London exceeding fine weather – as pleasant and warm as is usual on the 1st of May.”This indicates that he did business there, as well as repeated business. It seems that Brigg Mercury arrived at New London around this time yearly. From his diaries, I seemed to have found out that he owned a boat, Brigg Mercury, and was selling to and receiving goods from the West Indies. Next, I would like to get further in depth with how exactly he is getting the goods.
In our American Studies class, we have been researching freedom and slavery in Suffield during 1774. We continue to find people, events and places linked to both topics.
In my previous research I was looking into Old Ti and his family and heritage. Since then I was looking into his life, specifically his father fighting in the Revolutionary War along with his owner Elihu Kent. I was also looking for proof of Titus Kent fighting in the war as well as him getting his freedom and his pension.
J Kent Seeking T Kent’s Pension
In my research I found, by looking through old war documents, monuments and lists, that Titus Kent did indeed fight in the Revolutionary War along with Elihu Kent and Elihu Kent Jr. I am still uncertain whether Titus got his freedom after the war, but I found records of applications for his pension. What is interesting about these documents is that they are not filed so that Titus himself can retrieve his pension. They are filed so that other people could get his pension.
As I was looking for documents proving Titus Kent’s position in the war, I came across Ancestry.com. This website contains original documents from the war, as well as containing information about the Kent family.
This also proves that Titus Kent did indeed survive fighting in the war. As for his freedom, it doesn’t mean he necessarily got his freedom.
As I progress in my research, I intend to research what happened to Titus Kent after the war? If he gets his freedom even though he didn’t get his pension? And who Jonathan Kent is in relation to Titus?
Our Suffield Academy Project Base Learning class has been researching 1774 relating to slavery and freedom in Connecticut, and more specifically Suffield. In my last blog post I mentioned my research on two of Suffield’s founding families; the King family and the Austin family. I was interested in their families’ relation to slavery and their opinions on freedom. I discovered they were minutemen and fought for freedom, but I wanted to know more. Through my research I came across Dr. Alexander King’s diaries. This primary source is very important, as Dr. King was the town’s doctor. Thus he was often traveling around and very aware of what was going on. His detailed diary entries discuss the town’s emotions and opinions surrounding the events in the colonies. The topic of conflict arises
in 1773 after the Boston Tea Party. King describes on May 12th, 1774, that four ships arrived in Boston and locked down the port on behalf of Parliament to stop all traffic except for provisions and fuel, until Boston payed for the tea they dumped over. The Colonies were greatly alarmed by this, and the Ct General Assembly met to discuss resolutions related to American Liberty. King was a part of the General Assembly and provides information on their meetings and their discussions on freedom. The General Assembly met again on October 3rd, 1774 to pass an act prohibiting the importation of slaves. This is very important to our topic of slavery and freedom as it provides an insight to the colonies views on slavery and how they were going about fighting it in 1774. King also describes the people in America growing extremely angry and ready to take up arms to fight for liberty. “The mobish temper was so high that it is dangerous for a moderate man to manifest his opinion” (Page 9 1774). This provides insight into the Colonies coming together to prepare to fight and their strong will to stay free and independent. To continue my research, I hope to look into the General Assembly further and their stance on freedom, while hopefully finding more primary sources.