Citizens All: African Americans in Connecticut 1700-1850
Transatlantic Slave TradeConnecticut StoriesAbout The Project
Connecticut Stories
Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and AbolitionYale University
The Emergence of Free Black Communities in Connecticut



  1. Digging Deeper: To learn more about the lives of African Americans in Connecticut during the early 19th century, read historian Peter Hinks's article "The Emergence of Free Black Communities in Connecticut" (download pdf).
  2. Thinking Like an Historian: Listen to the introductory video segment for this module, "The Attack on Black Citizenship in Connecticut," with New Haven historian Frank Mitchell. How does the story of William Lanson help us to understand the conditions of African Americans in the early decades of the 19th century? How was Lanson personally affected by the larger political, economic and social transformations occurring around him? Why has William Lanson dropped out of our state and local history?
  3. Using Primary Documents: Compare and contrast the 1819 Constitution of the Hartford Auxiliary Colonization Society with the 1828 Address to the Public by the Colonization Society of Connecticut (both linked above). How might one account for the changes in the aims and in the general tone of these documents? What clues do these documents provide to better understand the conditions faced by free Blacks like William Lanson and William Grimes?