Hartford — We have stories of courage and ingenuity to share.
But there are also stories about the cruelty of slavery and how it affected Connecticut residents.
Both are available in an upcoming free virtual presentation by Catherine A. Hermes, historian and publisher of Connecticut Explored magazine, entitled Uncovering Their History: The Ancient Burial Grounds of Hartford, Africans 1640-1815, Be part of the African American and Native American Burial Grounds.
The New Haven Museum will be hosting an event on Wednesday, September 14th at 6:00 PM in honor of Connecticut Freedom Trail Month.
The project at the ancient burial ground in Hartford is funded in part by the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Connecticut Department of Historic Preservation with support from the Community Investment Act, according to organizers.
Sponsored by Connecticut Explore Magazine and in collaboration with Friends of Grove Street Cemetery, Hermes’ talk will focus on the Uncovering Their History project and people of color in ancient burial grounds.
One of the people whose stories were discovered was Sally Cuffe.
Cuff, Hermes said, “The same year Connecticut enacted the Gradual Emancipation Act, paid $100, or perhaps £100, to get out of slavery.
“And she wants to be free. She paid a man who was one of the richest men in Connecticut to get her freedom. He didn’t need that money. He had enslaved her ancestors, but she intended to leave and be free.
Hermes also has a team of researchers who have helped create research-specific resources and websites to remember and honor the “most invisible population” of colonial Hartford so that research can be made available to the public. Published.
“In 2018, the Ancient Burial Ground asked for suggestions to investigate how many people of color were actually buried. With the 300 figure being constantly thrown around, no one knew where it came from.” I didn’t know that. [and] Any information that can be known about them,” Hermes said.
She said these stories will be linked to the Ancestry.com tree, so anyone working on their family tree can link back there. “And then I create Relationship Trees, a program that a computer science student at CCSU worked on with me. Men, master slaves, testament makers and their beneficiaries.We can document these relationships to show how people are connected within a community,” said Hermes. say.
During the course of the project, Hermes and her team identified 500 people they believed were possibly buried in an ancient cemetery.
“we [would] Found them in Sexton records, very confident, buried, somewhat confident, found death notices in newspapers, found little other evidence that they died in Hartford, rank one of Confident, they look old. I presumed that he died in Hartford, probably because he is mentioned in the probate records as an elderly slave. [are] likely buried, or they [are] I have no self-confidence, [which] There’s some reason to think they could be there, but there’s really no evidence. We just know they died in or near Hartford,” she said. .
Hermes and her team wrote stories for individuals with 500 names in their database who could find stories that resonated with others and could explain their experiences.
“We talked about how enslaved people formed families, what difficulties they faced, how they could be sold, and the conundrum that they were not supposed to have children out of wedlock. Do not marry without your husband’s permission.
She also referred to examples of the benefits of inheritance historically.
Margaret Tockarshewsky, executive director of Hermes and the New Haven Museum, said she wants attendees to learn more about the project and its genealogy.
“I really think of this project as a pilot project, so I see it as an opportunity to let people know about this project. “People come to our Whitney Library to do their genealogy. [didn’t] We have a lot [that] It’s in my collection now, but no.and in recent years [we] We have tried to offer genealogy workshops, programs and lectures. “
Hermes said she hopes attendees will learn more about Hartford’s native people.
“I want you to know that the Hartford and Riverside Natives were Wangunk. The Wangunk were an important part of Connecticut. They still exist, but not as a tribe,” Hermes said. .
“There are still Wanganks in this world, but they were largely written from Connecticut’s history because they were not part of the Treaty of Hartford that ended the Pequot War in 1638,” Hermes said. It’s very hard to find anything about them, I’ve reconstructed the colonial Wangank genealogy, so that people know more about the indigenous peoples and how diverse and fulfilling they were. I hope you can.”
Hermès said there are many different stories when it comes to other people of color, including African Americans.
For example, Hermès claims to have found the 17th-century will of Philip Moore and his wife Ruth, as well as his son’s burial record (the cost of digging the coffin and grave). She said that in the 17th century Philip Moore was a free landowner in what is now called Hockanham, now East Hartford, by what is now Goodwin College.
“Philip Moore was a farmer, he and his family were church members, owned considerable land and had plantations. “It didn’t rise to prominence,” said Hermes.
“This is a different kind of story than the story of someone who is born a slave and then stays in slavery…There are incredible stories of courage and ingenuity. I want you to know that story, but its cruelty. I want you to understand [slavery] teeth. Connecticut has been more cruel than anywhere else in its treatment of its enslaved people. Those stories need to be told,” she said.
Click the link below to register for a presentation or for more information.