Unfreedom in Westport, MA

PLEASE NOTE:  This talk will be held at the Little Compton Community Center.

Tony Connors, PhD, the President of the Westport Historical Society will deliver the final talk in the Little Compton Historical Society’s Slavery and Freedom Speakers’ Series on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 7 pm at the Little Compton Community Center on the Commons. Dr. Connors will present “tony-connorsWestport’s Stories of Unfreedom” based on his extensive research using Westport’s primary source documents. Because of changing borders and family connections, the ties between Westport’s and Little Compton’s historic people of color are especially strong.

Anthony J. “Tony” Connors is an independent historian from Westport, Massachusetts. He has a PhD in American History from Clark University, and is the author of Ingenious Machinists: Two Inventive Lives from the American Industrial Revolution (SUNY Press, 2014), and “Andrew Craigie: Patriot and Scoundrel,” Harvard Magazine (November-December 2011), and editor of Conflicts in American History: The Colonial and Revolutionary Eras (Facts on File, 2010).

The talk is sponsored by the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is free and open to the public.

The Little Compton Historical Society’s Slavery and Freedom Speaker Series is part of a year-long project honoring the 200th anniversary of the end of slavery in Little Compton. The Society has spent three years investigating the history of slavery in Little Compton and now offers a book and a special exhibition on the subject entitled “If Jane Should Want to Be Sold, Stories of Enslavement, Indenture and Freedom in Little Compton, Rhode Island.” The exhibition is open every Saturday from 1 to 5 PM and by appointment at other times. It will close in Little Compton February 28 and then travel to the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University. Admission to the exhibition is free to members of the Little Compton Historical Society and $5 for non-members. For more information please call 401-635-4035.

 

Two Generations of Freedom: From Kofi to Paul Cuffe

 JOIN US on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 7 PM at the Little Compton Community Center, when Jeffrey Fortiprofessor-jeffrey-fortinn will present “Two Generations of Freedom: From Kofi to Paul Cuffe.” Professor Fortin will share the stories of Kofi Slocum, an African man enslaved in Westport, MA, who secured his freedom, and his son, Quaker businessman and sea captain, Paul Cuffe. During his lifetime, Paul Cuffe (1759-1817) was one of the most prosperous and politically active men of color in America. Dr. Fortin is the Paul Cuffe Fellow at Mystic Seaport Museum and Assistant Professor of History at Emmanuel College. His book on the life of Paul Cuffe will be published shortly.

The talk is free and open to the public.

It is part of the Little Compton Historical Society’s Slavery and Freedom Speakers’ Series and is sponsored by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Later in the month the last talk in the series will take place on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 7PM, when Tony Connors, President of the Westport Historical Society, will present “Westport’s Stories of Unfreedom” based on his extensive research using Westport’s primary source documents. Through the years changing borders and family connections have created strong ties between Westport’s and Little Compton’s historic people of color.