Enslaved Colonials Aided Underground Railroad

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The Suffield Historical Society (SHS) will meet Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. The SHS meetings now take place at the Second Baptist Church in the Common Room, and residents should park in the rear of the sanctuary. Then they can enter the center door from the parking lot, turn left into Fellowship Hall, cross to the opposite corner, up the stairs one flight, then straight ahead. The SHS meetings are open to the public, and new members are most welcome.

The main focus of the meeting will feature a presentation by my American Studies students from Suffield Academy who will share history about the two individuals that Oliver Phelps enslaved when he lived in Suffield’s Phelps-Hatheway House. Have you ever been on the special attic tour at our Connecticut Landmarks’ most unique property and wondered about the intriguing old bed in the corner? Come out and learn more about the people who likely lived in the attic and later moved to Canandaigua, New York, which was a famous stop of the Underground Railroad leading to Rochester.

Appreciating Connecticut Landmarks’ Mission to use “historic properties to inspire an understanding of our complex past,” students will show the meeting how the two enslaved people listed under Oliver Phelps’ 1790’s census record helped their next generation establish deep ties to the Underground Railroad network in the greater Rochester area that later assisted Frederick Douglass with his abolitionist work in the region. The program will aim to have our community realize Connecticut Landmarks’ “vision of a state whose understanding of its diverse past inspires its people to move forward together as one.”

Email this writer any questions: bsullivan@suffieldacademy.org This in-person meeting will also offer a Zoom link here: https://tinyurl.com/46adn48c

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