Tag Archives: 1774

Changing in Laws about Slavery in Connecticut.

This image is about the law passed by the Connecticut Government on in 1784, which declares that the children of enslaved African Americans born after March 1, 1784 were to be granted freedom upon reaching the age of 25. On the right side, it was the law that states the abolition of slavery. https://ctexplored.org/no-taxation-without-representation-voting-petitions-in-connecticut/

No-Taxation

My class is investigating the topics of freedom and slavery in Connecticut around the year 1774.  My first research is on the laws on slavery that were passed in Connecticut. As we knew laws are made by the state government and the government is elected by citizens of the state. Through the changing in the laws, we could see the changing of ideas of the citizens toward slavery. The ideas of slavery have been studied in people’s minds since a long time ago, however, the ideas changed during the Revolutionary War. I want to do research about the effect on slaves in these years, and what are the events that led to the changing in laws. Here is a timeline of what happened with the laws in the years around the Revolutionary War.

1755

A comprehensive act “concerning Indian, Mulatto and Negro Servants, and Slaves” is passed. It restates several earlier laws: travel beyond town boundaries is prohibited without a pass for free and enslaved Negroes; violating the 9 p.m. curfew is punishable with a whipping; the last owner of a freed slave and the last employer of a servant are financially responsible for that person for life; the importation of Indians into Connecticut is banned.

1757

The census records enumerate 3,019 African Americans and 617 Native Americans living in Connecticut; it does not distinguish between free and enslaved. There were about 15 native American slaves and about 100 African slaves in Pomfret.

1762

The colony estimates a population of approximately 4,590 African Americans and 930 Native Americans.

1774

The importation of “Indian, Negro or Mulatto Slaves” to Connecticut is banned.

The total number of African Americans in Connecticut is 5,085. The colony’s census did not distinguish free from enslaved. There were 334 African Americans and 825 Native Americans in Pomfret.

Roughly half of all ministers, lawyers, and public officials in Connecticut own slaves, and a third of all doctors.

1784

The “Gradual Emancipation Act” declares that the children of enslaved African Americans born after March 1, 1784, were to be granted freedom upon reaching the age of 25.

1785

State legislation outlaws the slave trade in Connecticut, prohibiting the import of Africans and the export of African Americans for sale, and requires every slave owner to register the births of every child born into slavery in their household with their town clerks.

According to my research, I think Connecticut’s lawmakers were cautious moving against slavery. Black people were more numerous in the state than in the rest of New England combined, and racial anxieties were correspondingly acuter. This pattern was well-observed from the South: “the more blacks lived in a Northern state, the more reluctantly that state approached the topic of emancipation.”

I’m going to do my following research on what are the events lead to the changes in the laws. I think the idea of slavery was deep in people’s mind so, I will there must be something happened changed people’s mind.

Sources:

http://www.fortunestory.org/resources/timeline.asp

http://slavenorth.com/connecticut.htm

Slavery in Connecticut.  Reverends For Or Against Slavery?  

http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/1980/6/80.06.09.x.html

 

 

 

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Dr. Alexander King Insight into 1774

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.

 

http://www.suffield-library.org/history/king/king1776/diaryking1776.htm

Essential Information for our Investigation.

townseal.png

My class and I are investigating what happened in Suffield during the pivotal year of 1774. history of Suffield, Connecticut. Because the Boston Tea Party was a turning point for the colonies and their frustration with Parliament, we are trying to see how conversations of freedom and slavery were inspired by these events.
In response to the Boston Tea Party (1773), Parliament drafted the the Coercive Acts in 1774, and residents throughout the thirteen colonies protested these acts in various ways. For instance, our class first studied the western Massachusetts town of Sheffield, and learned that Colonel Ashley hosted citizens at his house; this group composed the Sheffield Resolves. Interestingly, we learned that one of his slaves, Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was inspired by these conversations of protest and later sued successfully for her own freedom, Brom and Bett v. Ashley (1781). We are now trying to find out what happened in Suffield during the pivotal year of 1774. What part of the population supported the growing patriot cause in Boston? What portion of citizens accepted the dictates of the British Parliament and refused to petition King George III? Who was neutral?

To begin our historical investigation, it is important for us to know more about the founding of Suffield as well as some of the traditions and attitudes of freedom and slavery. 

Suffield is a town in Hartford County. In fact, Suffield was called Southfield until 1674 because it being the southernmost town, that is why in some documents Southfield is referred to our well-known Suffield. (3)

Some people’s reaction to the Boston Tea Party was excitement for the future and some people viewed it as an act of vandalism. The reactions across the American colonies were mixed. Most people did want a peaceful revolution. People just wanted to have a productive trading relationship with England. They did not necessarily want to pay direct taxes levied by

parliament and the government. People of America would have been much more comfortable paying taxes to their local legislatures.

Connecticut, as a part of the thirteen original colonies, responded to the Boston Tea Party and the upcoming events. The day after the Tea Party took place, Connecticut had thrown its full weight behind the neighbors to the north, and was willing to do all CT could to support Boston.

Connecticut, based on the data, supported the loyalists. At the outbreak of the war, Connecticut consisted of six counties and 72 townships. According to the census of 1774, throughout these counties and townships, there existed some 25,000 males between the ages of 16 and 50, of whom about 2,000 identified themselves as Tories. (4) Nowhere was the presence of these individuals stronger than in the southwestern portion of the state, particularly in Fairfield County. (2) However, the question is: did Suffield? What part of the population supported the growing patriot cause in Boston? Was the number of African-American effected in any way? I am looking forward to see what my classmates find in order to solve this part of the puzzle.

Slavery was common during the 18th century. We have colony of CT Census proving that in 1774 there were 37 slaves in Suffield.  The slaves were owned by wealthy merchants, tavern owners, Tobacco farm owners and town ministers and other influential people in town. We know that major John Pynchon had at least two slaves, Harry and Rocco, which means that other influential people of Suffield had slaves. (1) Suffield’s third minister, Reverend Ebenezer Devotion owned six slaves during this time period 1742-1796. Reverend Ebenezer Gay Jr. manumitted the family three remaining slaves in 1812. They were Titus, Ginny and Dinah. If we will be able to find out the names of people who had the most money in the town, we will be a step closer to solve this puzzle to find the right people who lived in Suffield in 1974. Using our deduction skills, we will dig deeper and deeper and eventually we will discover something that has been a secret for a while.

With the help of the Suffield Town Library, we have the access to the list of the earliest families of Suffield. By figuring out the century and what part of that century these people used to live, we would be able to tell who had slaves and then find out the names of all the thirty seven slaves lived in town in 1774.

 

Sources:

  1. https://archive.org/stream/documentaryhisto00shel#page/22/mode/2up/search/harry+roco
  2. http://www.hsgct.org
  3. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/j-hammond-james-hammond-trumbull/the-memorial-history-of-hartford-county-connecticut-1633-1884-volume-2-mur/page-46-the-memorial-history-of-hartford-county-connecticut-1633-1884-volume-2-mur.shtml
  4. http://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=ghj