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Proceedings of the Connecticut State Convention of Coloured Men, Held at New Haven, On the September 12th and 13th, 1849.

1849CT.15.pdf

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Current Saved Transcription [history]

Beman also served, during the early 1830's as agent of Garrison's Liberator. He was also present at the initial meeting of the Middletown Anti-Slavery Society in February 1834, being elected one of its managers. When the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society held its organizing meeting in May 1840, Beman was one of eight black delegates who participated in its proceedings. He played an influential role in the temperance movement among his people, and with the establishment of the Free Soil Party in 1848, Beman became a leading spokesman for the group within the New England black community.

2. William Wolcott Ellsworth (1791-1868) was a noted Connecticut lawyer, congressman, governor, and son of Oliver Ellsworth, second chief justice of the United States. Although a conservative in political predilections, Ellsworth supported many unpopular causes.

3. The reference undoubtedly is to Prudance Crandall (1803-1889), a teacher and reformer of Quaker descent. In 1831, she opened a school for girls at Canterbury, Connecticut. When a black child by the name of Sarah Harris applied, Miss Crandall admitted her, and immediate protests followed. Miss Crandall then decided to keep a school for Negro girls only. This latter step, however, provoked an outpouring of attack. Miss Crandall was harassed incessantly by the townspeople, who on one occasion attacked her home, filled the school's drinking water with refuse, and even threatened personal violence upon her. He opponents also successfully secured the passage of a law making it illegal, without the consent of the selectmen of the town, to instruct blacks who were not inhabitants of the state. Under this law she was arrested and imprisoned.

Her case provoked nationwide attention. Miss Crandall received significant support in her fight by some of the leading lawyers and antislavery agitators of the time, but after a long grueling fight that lasted sixteen months, she closed the school and left the state.

4. The reference is to John Milton (1608-1674), the famous English poet, whose Paradise Lost, which appeared in twelve books in 1667, is considered the greatest epic poem of the English language.

5. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), noted German astronomer, formulated a series of laws, relating to the orbit and rotation of the planets.

6. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), American theologian and metaphysician, wrote many brilliant treatises relating to predestination and original sin and figured prominently in the religious revival known as the Great Awakening. His son, Jonathan Edwards the younger (1745-1801), also gained celebrity as a great theologian.

7. Theodore Dwight (1764-1846) and his brother Timothy Dwight (1752-1817) were grandsons of Jonathan Edwards. The former was a noted American author. The latter was a well-known American clergyman, author, and educator who became president of Yale University in 1795. A strong believer in theocracy and federalism, he vigorously opposed the rising Republicanism of Connecticut and the nation.

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