Bayliss, John F., ed.
Black Slave Narratives
. New York: Macmillan, 1970.
This is a nicely organized collection of representative slave narratives which provides a brief and lucid view of slavery from capture in Africa to escape. The narrative of J.W.C. Pennington on pp. 196-221 details his escape from slavery in Maryland and provides interesting background information on a man who later became one of the leaders of Blacks in Connecticut.
Blessingame, John W., ed.
. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: LSU Press, 1977.
A massive, scholarly collection of letters, speeches, interviews and autobiographies of slaves and former slaves, this work also deals mainly with the south. However, pp. 30-46 and 200-204 contain letters and interviews concerning the Amistad affair in New Haven. Also, on p. 7 is a letter from one of his former slaves, now in Georgia, appealing to James Hillhouse of Montville, Connecticut.
. New York: Viking, 1971. This is a nicely written, thorough and enjoyable account of the Amistad affair. Although it is probably too dry for most middle school students, excerpts could make good comprehension exercises in reading or social studies classes. Pages 50-55, which contain a synopsis of the prisoners’ account, might be useful for this.
Catterall, Helen T., ed.
Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro
. Volume IV:
Cases from the Courts of New England
the Middle States and the District of Columbia
. Washington, D.C.: The Carnegie Institution, 1936.
This is a massive work, but easy to use. It is organized by state and then chronologically. The section on Connecticut (pp. 413-447) begins with a concise summary of slavery in Connecticut and includes a number of significant cases in the history of slavery in the state.
Donnan, Elizabeth, ed.
Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America
. Volume III:
New England and the Middle Colonies
. New York: Octagon, 1969.
There is little direct material on Connecticut, since the bulk of slave-trading in New England was conducted through Boston and Newport. The material is detailed, not conveniently organized and hard to work with.
Greene, Lorenzo J.
The Negro in Colonial New England
. New York: Columbia, 1942.
This is a well-documented, well-written book which gives the best general presentation of Blacks’ role in Puritan society.
North of Slavery
. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1961.
Not centrally concerned with slavery but with free Blacks in the north, Litwack’s work was only marginally useful to this unit. It is useful for understanding the abolition and suffrage movements among northern Blacks after slavery in the north was largely abolished.
Life of James Mars
a Slave Born and Sold in Connecticut
. Hartford: Case, Lockwood and Co., 1865.
An original narrative, this account is interesting although its abolitionist editors have made it more of a propaganda tract than an autobiography.
Logan, Gwendolyn E. “The Slave in Connecticut During the American Revolution.”
Connecticut Historical Societ
30:3 (July, 1965), pp. 73-80.
She takes a revisionist tack toward an economic explanation for the gradual emancipation of slaves in Connecticut, but Ms. Logan gives a generally balanced summary of the forces affecting Blacks in Connecticut during the Revolution. White’s work is more detailed and more general in scope, but Logan’s article is really all one needs to read to get an introduction to the question of the Blacks’ role in the war.
MacManus, Edgar J.
Black Bondage in the North
. Syracuse, N,Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1973.
This book is less regional than Greene’s and it takes a harsher position toward northern society. It is comprehensive, but material on Connecticut is not easy to separate from the essentially broad discussions this book contains. One needs to read the book cover to cover, or at least chapter by chapter. The first six chapters and Chapter Ten add to and give a viewpoint different from that of other accounts. Chapter Ten, on Black resistance, treats a topic that earlier writers gave little attention to.
Mitchell, Mary H. “Slavery in Connecticut and Especially in New Haven.”
Papers of the New Haven Colony Historical Society
Volume X (1951), pp. 286-312.
There is an apologist tone to this article that makes it less than a balanced discussion of the subject. Its main usefulness is its wealth of information on prominent citizens of New Haven who held slaves, and how those slaves were treated.
. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969.
Although this book covers the entire country and a later period than my unit, I recommend it for several reasons. It gives one a view of Blacks’ efforts to secure their own freedom, of the problems emancipation did not solve, and of the development of Black leadership. If nothing else, read the introduction.
Steiner, Bernard C. “History of Slavery in Connecticut.” Herbert B. Adams, Ed.
Johns Hopkins University Studies
History and Political Science
. Eleventh Series, Volumes IX-X. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1893.
This is considered one of the basic works of the history of slavery in the north, but it suffers from its bias. Steiner was inclined to view northern slavery as “better” than southern slavery and sought examples to support that opinion. It remains valuable as a legal history of slavery in Connecticut.
Warner, Robert A. “Amos Gerry Beman.”
Journal of Negro History
XXII:2 (April, 1937), pp. 200-221.
Beman was one of the major leaders of Connecticut’s Blacks during the mid-nineteenth century, and this is a good brief biography. Warner is inclined to overpraise Beman’s moderation on the abolition question, but the account is well-balanced otherwise.
Warner, Robert A.
New Haven Negroes
A Social History
. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940.
Warner is a sympathetic writer and his account is a fascinating and very human one. Every teacher in New Haven should read it, if only to improve his or her feeling for the city’s problems. It is not directly applicable to this particular unit, but I find it a great help in teaching later units on Connecticut Black history. Where it is particularly valuable is in its detailed economic, geographic and social profiles of one Black community in a Connecticut city.
White, David O.
s Black Soldiers 1775
. Chester, Connecticut: Pequot, 1973.
This is an interesting and readable discussion of the impact of the Revolution on Connecticut’s Blacks. It is far more detailed than Logan’s.