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A Canterbury Tale: A Document Package for
Connecticut's Prudence Crandall Affair

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Pardon Crandall, "The Memorial of Pardon Crandall, of Canterbury (May 5, 1833)," published in Fruits of Colonization, 1833.


To the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, now in session at Hartford:—

I would inform you that some time past, Prudence Crandall proposed and notified to open a school for the instruction of young ladies and little misses of color, in the town of Canterbury. Instead of the leading men in Canterbury coming forward to encourage an Institution designed to enlighten the ignorant and elevate the depressed people of color, they have called together a number of Assemblies and town meetings, and have passed a number of resolutions, to do all in their power to destroy the institution. Among others, was one passed at the town meeting, to appoint a committee of ten to draw a petition to the General Assembly, now convened, to prevent people of color from assembling for the purpose of getting an education, and also to correspond with other towns in the State in order to forestall public opinion for the same purpose, which petition is now pending before the General Assembly now in session. I entreat the members of the General Assembly, when acting on this petition, to remember those self-evident truths, that all mankind are created free and equal, that they are endued with inalienable rights, of which no man nor set of men have a right to deprive them. And my request is, that you will not grant the prayer of any petitions nor pass any act that will curtail or destroy any of the rights of the free people of this State, or other States, whether they are white or black.

And as I am in duty hound will ever remain your humble and sincere friend;

Canterbury, May 5th, 1833.