Category Archives: Twitter

Titus Kent-Middletown Investigation

My ProjectBase Learning Class has been researching 1774, regarding slavery and freedom. We have found information on Rose and her son Prince, slaves who came to Middletown on a Dutch Ship. Mr Phillips, of Middletown Connecticut, sold Rose and Prince to Reverend Ebenezer Gay, of Suffield Connecticut. After reading about your exhibition, we were wondering if you had any records of this. We do not have the exact dates to this sale, however, Reverend Ebenezer Gay was the Minister in Suffield from 1742-1796, and during this

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Windsor Locks Journal, 1885. Written by trusted town historian, with first hand source from Ebenezer Gay’s Granddaughter

time he purchased his slaves. I am looking into where the Dutch ships originated from, especially trying to find the origin of Rose Gay, who had a tattoo on her back that suggested royalty. Rose Gay went on to marry Titus Kent, another slave belonging to the wealthy Kent family of Suffield. During our research we found, by looking through old war documents, monuments and lists, that Titus Kent fought in the Revolutionary War along with Elihu Kent and Elihu Kent Jr. We are still uncertain whether Titus got his freedom after the war, but we found records of applications for his pension. What is interesting about these documents is that they are not filed so that Titus himself could have retrieved his pension. They are filed so that other people could get his pension.  While we are very interested in your documentation regarding slaves sold in Middletown, we are also wondering if you came across and documents regarding slaves being granted their freedom after fighting in the Revolutionary War?

Twitter = Excellent #PBL Resource

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Last year’s class discovered this excellent resource online. How can we connect with this Yale scholar and map our important local history discoveries. Should we make our own digital map of Connecticut? Can we task students with this challenge? While sharing what we learn is an important aspect to having student reach the higher levels on the Blooms Taxonomy scale, it is also a crucial step to explaining Connecticut’s complex history. As historians of Connecticut agree, there are many different enclaves and communities inside our complex state that make writing “general” history of our 17th- to present day events daunting. Thus, students writing (or “doing”) history from the local level and making connections to the state level will compose a more enriched account of our national historical tends.

Our Press Release: The Other Underground Railroad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACTS & CALENDAR LISTINGS: Click SA.Presentation.4.19.2016

Bill Sullivan, American Studies Teacher, Suffield Academy bsullivan@suffieldacademy.org

Title: The Other Underground Railroad

A Free Lecture from 7:00-8:00pm on April 19th at Suffield’s Senior Center, 145 Bridge Street. Suffield Academy Students present 18th Century Kidnapping Case During Suffield Historical Society Meeting.

In 1845 Reverend Daniel Hemenway, a West Suffield minister and school teacher, wrote a letter to John Hooker, our state’s leading abolitionist, to enlist his help for freeing certain slaves in Virginia. They were descendants of Flora, an eighteenth century free African-American woman from West Suffield. Hooker and Hemenway then argued that Captain Hanchett, a Revolutionary War Hero and tavern owner in West Suffield, kidnapped Flora and her two children, transported them down the Hudson River, and sold them into slavery. The American Studies class of Suffield Academy will present information from new research about this complex case: this includes kidnapping, the “other” direction of the Underground Railroad, Flora and Exeter’s colonial life, recently discovered documents relating to Reverend Hemenway and his Select School in Suffield, as well as additional implications concerning the nineteenth century Underground Railroad in our town.

Come out and learn the fate of the four sets of Flora’s 19th century children and grandchildren whose fight for freedom involved seven county trials as well as a culminating case heard by Virginia’s Supreme Court. All Society meetings are open to the public, and newcomers are most welcome.

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“Kidnapping” by Alexander Rider

Delineating the learning process about Vicky Chen’s art work for out flyer, she juxtaposed this image of a nineteenth century kidnapping with some of the text from the nineteenth century depositions that described Hanchett and another man forceably taking Flora away. We have some of the depositions on our blog, and the State Library of Virginia as well as the Rockbridge Advocate newspaper have other documents. The most interesting discovery we had as a class was to learn more about early nineteenth century Philadelphia physician, Jesse Torrey, who researched and compiled a book on narratives in his area. Click here to learn more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3h324.html

Looking for Aid from the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

hbsc icon.gifHooker mentions Hemengway’s letter in his memoir. Do you have this or other similar letters?

During our early researches, the class found out that John Hooker (1816-1901), as an abolitionist, served a vital role with Reverend Hemengway in the case. After some brief online research, I found out his relations with Thomas Hooker, the founder of Hartford, and that indeed John is the grandson of him. Also, he worked as a lawyer and judge in Farmington, a significant stop for the underground railroad, and as an advantage for his abolitionist activities. Significantly, a breakthrough came when we learnt about Isabella Beecher Hooker, a women suffragist, who was indeed his wife. We went on from that direction and learnt much more information of Hooker, including from Susan Campbell’s book, Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker.

After that, the class focused on the book Love of Freedom, so we changed directions on finding sources relating to Oliver Hanchett, Flora’s owner and Exeter, Flora’s husband’s court cases. Recently, we brought our attention back to Hooker and found out more about him. We contacted Susan Campbell on Twitter and she suggested us to make use your organization in digging out Hooker’s history. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s website indeed aided a lot on our research. First, we get to know a lot more about Hooker in his career being a judge from hyperlinking to the CT State Library page. Then, we connected the dates to branch out much more data regarding his family and life. For example, I found a book written by Thomas Hooker that recorded all descendants of him including John, as well as notes John wrote about his father Edward, and properties of the Hooker family passed on to John. Despite all information found, realizing the center is keeping over 1000 letters of John Hooker’s from a manuscript collection guide became the biggest breakthrough throughout our research on him.

This project requires lots of research skills and critical thinking skills, and it’s hard to find and see original paper form documents. It had taken us a good deal of effort to be in the position we stand right now, and we hope the center will be able to provide the letters or just any clues of John Hooker relating to our case, especially the conversations between Hooker and Reverend Hemengway. We believe any documents relating their partnership will bring us a big step forward.

#CTuntold Now We’re Starting Something

twitter-and-higher-order-thinking-skillsWe struck #PBL gold the other day in class when we were analyzing Jules’ good tweet to the Library of Virginia. She, like all of you, understood well the dimensions of our tweets that allow us to communicate, curate, and network information at the same time. The class’ first batch of tweets connected well with other sources, such as the Massachusetts’ Historical Society. So when we find important moments in our research, such as the opening puzzle pieces that Vicky found in the Hanchett family tree. The moment of gold occurred when Barrett realized reflected on the tweet from the librarian of the State Library of Virginia; his suggestion to modify the #VAuntold to our own #CTuntold was brilliant. Using #CTutold will help us commemorate breakthroughs in our research, such as discovering more information about Hanchett’s frustrating war experience or perhaps the moment we have an image of Flora and Exeter’s marriage certificate. Hopefully, too, other historians of Connecticut history will follow our research narrative, and over time become more curious enough to attend our public program on April 19th. Likewise, someone discovering our research adventures weeks from now will be able to click on the #CTuntold and find a chronological order of when and how we discovered key parts of our story. Here’s to more #CTuntold moments ahead!

Source: http://langwitches.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/twitter-and-higher-order-thinking-skills.jpg