African Ancestry in Connecticut
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    The State of Connecticut has a long history, and one that is varied within the African-American community. African-American settlements and communities existed in Hartford, New Haven, and many other areas of the state.

    Slave graves have been found in the Northeastern area of Connecticut, including Haddam, Putnam and other small communities. New London, CT has an extensive African-American community to this day, and has some of the oldest homes built and owned by African-Americans (the Hempstead Houses).

    The trial of the Amistad captives, recently told in a major film release, was told primarily in Connecticut. The re-created Amistad ship is now operating as part of OpSail 2000 CT, and was built at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut.

    Norwich, Connecticut has had importance to the African-American community of the state as well. The Jail Hill community (see below article) included entrepreneurs, ministers and many other prominent members of the community. Several homes within Norwich have significant ties to the African-American community as well as being part of the Underground Railroad which helped African-Americans gain their freedom.


    The Otis Library, located at 261 Main Street, Norwich, CT 06360 is a major resource for researching the history of Norwich and it's significant families. Extensive records also exist with the files of the City Clerk's office at Norwich City Hall, located at 100 Broadway, Norwich, CT 06360.

    More information will be added relating to specific African-American communities.

    Norwich, CT - Jail Hill, Significant African-American neighborhood

    In February of 1999, the CT State Historic Commission listed the neighborhood encompassing Fountain, Happy, John and Old Fountain streets as well as sections of School and Cedar streets on the National Register of Historic Places.

    The designation marks the recognition of the Jail Hill community as one of the most significant black neighborhoods in the United States from the 1830's to the 1860's. "The black community of Jail Hill consisted of a number of individuals of importance in the struggle for abolition of slavery and educational opportunities for people of color" said Municipal Historian Dale Plummer.

    To continue reading about Jail Hill click here: Jail Hill continued


    Queries of Connecticut Room  coming!

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    Placed online: 26 Sep 1999 | Updated: 24 Jan 2002
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