Monday, October 3, 2011

Researching African Americans in Connecticut

Here are some resources to help those researching African Americans in Connecticut.  Please leave a comment if you have any additional books or resources to add to the list.

Research Guide to African American Resources at the Connecticut State Library

African American Resources at the Connecticut Historical Society

Brown, Barbara W. and James M. Rose, Ph.D. Black Roots in Southeastern Connecticut 1650-1900. New London, CT: New London County Historical Society, 2001.

Caron, Denis R. A Century in Captivity: The Life and Trials of Prince Mortimer, a Connecticut Slave. Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire press, 2006.

Cruson, Daniel. The Slaves of Central Fairfield County: The Journey from Slave to Freeman in Nineteenth-Century Connecticut. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2007.

Greene, Lorenzo Johnston. The Negro in Colonial New England. New York: Atheneum, 1969.

Piersen, William D. Black Yankees: The Development of an Afro-American Subculture in Eighteenth-Century New England. Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1988.

Rose, James M. and Barbara W. Brown. Tapestry: A Living History of the Black Family in Southeastern Connecticut. New London, CT: New London County Historical Society, 1979.

Smith, Venture and Arna Wendell Bontemps. Five Black Lives: The Autobiographies of Venture Smith, James Mars, William Grimes, the Rev. G. W. Offley, James L. Smith. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1987.

Stone, Frank Andrews. African American Connecticut: The Black Scene in a New England State; Eighteenth to Twenty-First Century. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2008.

Photo Credit: Title: Unidentified man with beard, half-length portrait, full face. Photo taken by Augustus Washington, a prolific African American photographer in Hartford, CT. Sixth plate daguerreotype taken between 1854 and 1860. Call Number: DAG no. 1013.Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA


  1. The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library has the African American Gateway, listing websites and bibliographies for African American Research. Here is their page for Connecticut:

  2. Thanks for this, Marian! Will be ordering that Fairfield County book since I have an African American branch from there!

  3. The Indian and Colonial Research Center in Mystic, CT had a number of African American manuscripts and documents, including a nice book with details of of all of the black soldiers from CT with pensions after the Revolutionary War. I hadn't see those books anywhere else. Wasn't really looking, but noticed them in passing.

    They are closed at the moment, and their collections not available due to flood and storm damage from recent years, but I hope they will reopen this spring.

    1. The Indian and Colonial Research Center is open once more!: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:a.m. to 4 p.m..They now have a dandy Facebook Page that you may now access with lots of good information on what the Center has to offer.