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
Finding Your Local Town History
Calista K. Cleary, "Little Egypt: Black History in Three New England Towns"
Redding, CT 1989
Courtesy of Calista Cleary

Calista Cleary's essay on the hidden history of African Americans in Easton, Redding and Weston is a remarkable example of the fine work a careful and diligent student researcher can accomplish once she has set on a path of discovery. Equally important, Cleary provides a roadmap to the process of doing local history. Presented with an intriguing question about a neglected cemetery near her town, she sets about the task of uncovering its history through the use of census materials, conversations with local historians, visits to the cemetery site and a variety of libraries and archival holdings, and conversations with descendents of the early African-American residents of "Little Egypt." Finally, upon completion of her project she submitted copies of her research to state and local libraries, ensuring that future historians would benefit from her work.

Download the PDF:
Little Egypt: Black History in Three New England Towns
(file size: 2.1 MB)

Download the PDF:
Census Extracts, Redding, CT, 1790-1900
(file size: 1.2 MB)