Citizens All: African Americans in Connecticut 1700-1850
Transatlantic Slave TradeConnecticut StoriesAbout The Project
Connecticut Stories
Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and AbolitionYale University
Slavery and Freedom in the Era of the American Revolution



  1. Digging Deeper: To learn more about the lives of enslaved and free blacks in colonial Connecticut, read historian Peter Hinks's article, "Slavery & Freedom in the Era of the American Revolution, 1775-1800" (download pdf).
  2. Thinking Like an Historian: Listen carefully to the video segment in the introduction to this module "Slavery & Freedom in the Era of the American Revolution," with Donna McCalla, of the Hebron Historical Society. Then watch a dramatic recreation of the story of Cesar and Lowis, "Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town." Why is this story important to us? What does the story of Cesar and Lowis tell us about what was important to them and the fellow townspeople of Hebron?
  3. Using Primary Documents: There is a wealth of primary materials available documenting the story of Cesar and Lowis Peters, many of which are included on this page. As with any historical narrative, these documents constitute the factual basis for the reconstruction of this story. Use the primary documents related to the Peters case to piece together your own version of this story. Then compare what you've written to the 1899 version by F.C. Bissell (download pdf) and to Donna McCalla's essay "The Abduction, Rescue and Emancipation of Cesar and Lowis Peters," linked above under "Documents." What portion of these narratives is based on documentary evidence? Do the authors make inferences based on their particular reading of the primary documents?