Did you know that U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced last April a resolution “to honor the life and legacy of Venture Smith (1729-1805), a former enslaved person who purchased his family’s freedom and became a successful landowner, businessperson, and author in Connecticut?” The Congressional record from last year and the last ten years further explain how “Venture Smith Freedom Day” commemorates the spring day in 1765 when Venture Smith first purchased his own freedom from Oliver Smith, Jr. With its mission is to encourage interest in the history of Suffield, the Suffield Historical Society will sponsor a Witness Stones Project installation ceremony at Kent Memorial Library for Tamer Smith from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on April 10, which is also Venture Smith Freedom Day. Tamer’s Witness Stone memorial will be installed on the northwestern edge of the library’s expansion lot, a few yards from the North Main Street sidewalk.
Two speakers at the installation will be Representative Patricia Wilson Pheanious, J.D., M.S.W. Her ancestors, Phillis and Montros, were among the first to be memorialized with Witness Stones. Susi Ryan, a descendant of Venture Smith, a fiber artist, co-founder and current president of Sisters in Stiches Joined By The Cloth, will share her story of Venture Smith’s agency through her artwork. Email this writer with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. This in-person program will also offer a Zoom link here: https://tinyurl.com/ytuf2aus