A Canterbury Tale: A Document Package for Connecticut’s Prudence Crandall Affair
A Statement of Facts, Respecting the School for Colored Females, in Canterbury, Ct. Together With a Report of the Late Trial of Miss Prudence Crandall, Brooklyn, CT: 1833. Advertiser Press.
- In the history of the far famed “Canterbury Affair,” the publisher has aimed at nothing so much astruth and impartiality. It was deemed advisable that the principal facts of this transaction, subjected as they have been, to distortion and misrepresentation—should be collected together, and in a connected view, presented to the public. The reputation of Miss Crandall—the motives of the citizens of Canterbury —the honor of the State of Connecticut—and the great principles of justice itself, have all become involved in this singular “affair.”
Convinced that the public is the best and only judge in the case, bona fide materials are now laid before it, from whence to draw just inferences, and make up a correct judgement.
The drawing of the Village of Canterbury, and the engraving attached to this work, are remarkably accurate, and highly creditable to the young artists who prepared them.
Brooklyn, Sept. 1833.
STATEMENT OF FACTS.
AFTER having gained a very respectable reputation, as a female Teacher, by her labors in Plainfield, Ct., MISS PRUDENCE CRANDALL went to Canterbury, an adjoining town, about the 1st of November, 1831, and made known her desire to many of the leading individuals of the place, to open a “Boarding School” in their Village, for the instruction of Young Ladies. Her proposal was very favorably received by every individual who could be expected to take any interest in such an Institution as was proposed, and every assistance was readily extended to her, in carrying her project into immediate effect. The School was opened some time in the mouth of November, 1831. The people of Canterbury continued to befriend Miss Crandall, in every possible manner, patronizing her school by sending their own children, and procuring scholars from abroad, by favorable recommendations, &c.
An advertisement of Miss C.’s “Boarding School,” appeared in the several papers, accompanied by a flattering notice of recommendation over the signatures of the following gentlemen, who constituted a Board of Visitors:—Rev. Dennis Platt, Rufus Adams, Wm. Kinne, Andrew T. Judson, Andrew Harris, Daniel Packer, Daniel Frost, Jr. Samuel L. Hough. The school continued to prosper, and to sustain a reputation of the first order, both on account of the connection of its pupils with families of great respectability in Canterbury and elsewhere, and on account of its management, so long as Miss C. continued to fulfil her engagements as an Instructress of white Young Ladies. Some time during the month of September 1832, (according to Miss Crandall’s own statement of the case,) a respectable colored girl called on her, and expressed a wish to be admitted into her Boarding School. This girl did not, at that time, receive a definite answer, whether she could or could not be received. Upon a second and more earnest application, and after considerable reflection, Miss Crandall yielded to her solicitations, and the colored girl, in the words of the Instructress, “entered as one of my pupils.” Miss C. further states, (in her letter, which has been given to the public,) that the girl had not long been under her instruction, when some complaint arose on the part of her original patrons, accompanied by an expression of the belief, that she [the colored girl] must be removed or the Boarding School would be greatly injured. Miss C., however, retained the objectionable scholar, notwithstanding this advice; and after having perused several publications, professing to be devoted to the elevation of the colored population in this country, her feelings, as she says, “began to awaken.” By her statement, it appears that she had for some time, contemplated a journey to New York or Boston, for the purpose of visiting schools, and procuring apparatus for the benefit of her own school, then in operation in Canterbury; “while at the same time, [in her own language,] the most prominent object of my visit was, to see Win. Lloyd Garrison,—to obtain his opinion respecting the propriety of establishing a school for colored females, and the prospect of success, should I attempt it.”
[COMMENT. Was or was not the course of Miss Crandall, justifiable, in making a journey to Boston, to consult Mr Garrison, who was an entire stranger to her, when at the same time, the object of her visit, was kept from those kind and able advisers with whom she was surrounded in Canterbury,—and whom she had often eulogised for their warmth of friendship, and the interest they had manifested in her welfare? The public must judge.]
Soon after her visit to Boston, Miss C. went to New York, and found those who were friendly to the contemplated school for colored females, from whom she received great encouragement, with the advice to abandon the school to which she was then under engagements, and open one exclusively for colored pupils, who were chiefly to be obtained from New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Providence. She then returned to Canterbury, under an engagement to receive twenty or more colored girls, and soon after, not far from the 20th of February, 1933, went about executing her new designs, by dismissing her white scholars. This was the first knowledge of the change, which was given to the parents of her scholars, or to those who had aided her in the establishment of her original school. The house in which the school had been kept, was then fitted up, newly furnished, &c. and, put in readiness for the reception of the colored girls.
An advertisement soon appeared in the papers, announcing to the public, that on the first day of April 1833, her school would be opened for “Young Ladies and little Misses of color.” At the close of this notice, reference was directed to be made to Arthur Tappan, Rev. Peter Williams, Rev. Theodore Raymond, Theodore Wright, Rev. Samuel C. Cornish, Rev. George Bourne, Rev. Mr. Heyborn, James Forten, Joseph Cassey, Rev. S. J. May, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Arnold Buffum, George Benson. This advertisement has doubtless met the eye of the reader, as its publication is yet continued.
On the day after the white scholars were dismissed, a Committee, composed of Rufus Adams, Daniel Frost, Jr. A. Harris, R. Fenner, (all of whom, were among her most efficient friends in establishing her former school,) visited her for the purpose of “persuading her, if possible, to give up her project, so far as Canterbury was concerned.”—The propriety of the conduct of this committee, and the manner in which they presented to the lady, the objections which existed, to the course she was pursuing, has been spoken of in every instance, as highly creditable. It did not however, produce any visible effect, and consequently the same gentlemen were delegated from a larger body of the citizens of the town, to wait on Miss Crandall, on the 1st day of the following month. At this interview, every argumentative effort was made to convince her of the impropriety and injustice of her proposed measure. Daniel Frost, Jr., was appointed by the committee, to address Miss C., which was done, says one of the gentlemen, in a kind and affecting manner. In the course of his remarks, he alluded to the danger of the levelling principles, and intermarriage between the whites and blacks; when Miss C. made him the following reply,—”Moses had a black wife.” This is not stated for the purpose of bringing censure upon the lady, but because her reply to the Com. seems to have been made in justification of the course she had adopted. The public must decide whether the amalgamation of the whites and blacks is a profitable or safe doctrine. The lady is not here charged with teaching that doctrine. The above reply was made by her to the committee, and every reader must decide its meaning, for himself.
Thus far, Miss Crandall had made no offers of compromise, to those who had been appointed from time to time, to reason with her. She had made no allowances for the feelings and wishes [prejudices if you choose] of her former friends and patrons. She had gone on with a firmness of design, and a decision of action, worthy the holiest cause. On the 9th of March, a Town Meeting was held, for the purpose of taking this subject into consideration, townwise, when the following Resolutions were submitted, and after proper consideration, unanimously adopted:
“Whereas it hath been publicly announced, that a school is to be opened in this town, on the 1st Monday of April next, using the language of the advertisement, ‘for young ladies and little misses of color,’ or in other words, for the people of color, the obvious tendency of which would be, to collect within the time of Canterbury, large numbers of persons from other States, whose characters and habits might be various, and unknown to us, thereby rendering insecure, the persons, property and reputations of our citizens. Under such circumstances, our silence might be construed into an approbation of the project—
“Thereupon Resolved,—That the localities of a school, for the people of color, at any place within the limits of this town, for the admission of persons from foreign jurisdictions, meets with our unqualified disapprobation, and it is to be understood, that the inhabitants of Canterbury protest against it, in the most earnest manner.
Resolved,—That a Committee be now appointed, to be composed of the Civil Authority and Selectmen, who shall make known to the person contemplating the establishment of said school, the sentiments and objections entertained by this meeting, in reference to said school—pointing out to her, the injurious effects, and incalculable evils, resulting from such an establishment within this town, and persuade her to abandon the project.”
On the 14th, the above resolutions were communicated to Miss C., by the Civil Authority and Select Men, in a formal and becoming manner. She was urged to consider the impropriety of persisting in her new plan, against “all their wishes.” That she might not be the loser, in consequence of the original purchase of her house, which was made for her former school, responsible individuals offered and urged upon her, the sum she had paid for the house, upon condition that she would abandon the proposed school. This she declined. Nothing could overcome her determination to go on.
The people soon became satisfied that any further attempts, by the employment of Committees, &c., would prove unavailing. The only source to which they could now look for protection, against what they considered an evil of the greatest magnitude, was to the civil arm,—to the Legislature of the State, composed of the Representatives of the People. Petitions were accordingly sent up from the citizens of Canterbury, as well as from many other towns in the State, praying the General Assembly (soon to be convened) to enact some law by which the introduction of foreign blacks, might be regulated in a proper degree, by the feelings and wishes of the inhabitants of the towns. This petition came up for consideration, in its turn. The subject was referred to a Committee, who made the following
To THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY:—The Committee to whom was referred the petition of the town of Canterbury, and others, respectfully report, that they have attended to the subjects submitted to their consideration.
The condition of the colored population throughout the United States, and its influence on society, ought to command the attention of every Legislature. The slave trade commenced centuries ago, and about eighty millions of the human race have been its victims. They have suffered death in various and cruel forms, or have been left to drag out a miserable existence in the most abject slavery. Nations and individuals have been engaged in the horrid traffic, and our own country has participated deeply in its guilt; but the trade is now forbidden, by our federal government, under the penalty of death, and nations are leagued together for its suppression. However effectual these measures may prove, it will be long before we cease to suffer from the evils entailed upon us by the slave trade.
That every prudent and wise means for their mitigation should be anxiously sought and adopted, is not less enjoined by a regard to the welfare of society, than by the duties of humanity and justice.
It is about half a century since the Legislature of this State commenced a system for gradual abolition of slavery, and the great object has been consummated, still the unhappy class of beings, whose race has been degraded by unjust bondage, are among us, and justly demand at our hands all which is consistent with the common safety, and their own best interest, for the amelioration of their state and character.
Our obligations as a State, acting in its sovereign capacity, are limited to the people of our own territory. Our whole population of color, born within the last century, are already restored to the blessings of freedom. The constitution and laws of the State have secured to them all the rights and privileges of other citizens, except that of the elective franchise, and those to which it is essential. It is not contemplated for the Legislature to judge of the wisdom of that provision of the constitution which denies that franchise to the people of color; but your committee are not advised that it ever has been a subject of complaint. In every other point the white and colored population of this State are entitled by law to equal privileges. The latter, not less than the former, are within all the provisions which relate to education—they are alike protected in their persons and property, and in the exert—else of every occupation and profession. They also enjoy a special, exemption from the poll tax and military duty. In regard to the education of all those of that unfortunate class of beings who belong to this State, the Legislature ought not to impede, but so far as may be within their province, and consistent with the best interest of the people, to foster, and sustain the benevolent efforts of individuals directed to that end. Here our duties terminate. The colored people of other States, and other countries, are under the laws and guardianship of their respective sovereignties, and we are not entrusted with the powers of enquiring into the expediency or justice of their local regulations, except to acquire wisdom in regard to our own. Here are the boundaries of our Legislative rights and duties. We are under no obligation, moral or political, to incur the incalculable evils, of bringing into our own State, colored emigrants from abroad. For this we have the example of other members of’ our confederacy by whom slavery is tolerated. It is a fact confirmed by painful and long experience, and one that results from the condition of the colored people, in the midst of it white population, in all States and countries, that they are an appalling source of crime and pauperism. As this, in our own State„ proceeds from the degradation to which their ancestors have been wrongfully subjected, it imposes on us an imperious duty, to advance their morals and usefulness, and preserve them so far as possible from the evils which they have been obliged to inherit, but at the same time the duty is not less imperative, to protect our own citizens, against that host of colored emigrants, which would rush in from every quarter, when invited to our colleges and schools.
The memorials which have been referred to your Committee are signed by great numbers of respectable citizens who reside in different towns in this state. They have been occasioned by repeated efforts made to establish literary institutions, embracing in their objects, the colored people from other States and Countries.
The citizens of those places, where the establishment of those seminaries has been attempted, have manifested toward them a united and very ardent opposition, grounded as your committee believe, on most reasonable apprehensions of their effects, especially on the places of their injurious location.
Although the introduction of colored persons for the purpose of education merely, would seem to contemplate but a temporary residence, yet that class of people have seldom any settled establishments in their own States, or other inducements to return, after the period of instruction has expired; and as their last association and attachments would be here;— a great portion of the whole number would make this State their permanent residence. The immense evils which such a mass of colored population, as would gather within this State, when it has become their place of resort from other States and from other countries, would impose on our own people burthens which would admit of no future remedy, and can be avoided only by timely prevention.
The records of criminal courts, prison and assylums for the poor where great numbers prevail among a white population, admonish us of the dangers to which we are exposed, and evince the necessity, in the present crisis, of effectual legislative interposition.
Particular instances may occur in which the admission of a colored person belonging to any other State, to the privileges of a school, might be justified from peculiar circumstances. The several towns in which schools are located, must be the first and greatest sufferers from too liberal indulgence. It would seem both safe and just to place the subject under the direction at their own civil authority and select men. With a view to these objects, your committee respectfully report the accompanying bill for a public act.
Respectfully submitted per order of the Committee.
PHILIP PEARL, Jr. Chairman.
[As many erroneous opinions are yet in existence, in relation to the real character and provisions of the Law, on this subject, it will be well perhaps to lay it before the reader, that it may speak for itself. It follows:]
An act in addition to an Act entitled “An Act for the admission and settlement of Inhabitants of Towns.”
WHEREAS, attempts have been made to establish literary institutions in this State for the instruction of colored persons belonging to other states and countries, which would tend to the great increase of the colored population of the State, and thereby to the injury of the people: Therefore,
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Assembly convened, That no person shall set up or establish in this State, any school, academy, or literary institution, for the instruction or education of colored persons who are not inhabitants of this State, nor instruct or teach in any school, academy, or literary Institution whatsoever in this State, or harbor. or board, for the purpose of attending or being taught or instructed in any such school, academy or literary institution, any colored person who is not an inhabitant of any town in this state, without the consent, in writing, first obtained of a majority of the civil authority, and also of the select men of the town in which such school, academy, or literary institution is situated; and each and every person who shall knowingly do any act forbidden as aforesaid, or shall be aiding or assisting therein; shall, for the first offence, forfeit and pay to the treasurer of state, a fine of one hundred dollars, and for the second offence shall forfeit and pay a fine of two hundred dollars, and so double for every offence of which he or she shall be convicted. And all informing officers are required to make due presentment of all breaches of this act. Provided, That nothing in this act shall extend to any district school established in any school society, under the laws of this state, or to any incorporated academy or incorporated school for instruction in this state.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That any colored person, not an inhabitant of this state, who shall reside in any town therein for the purpose of being instructed as aforesaid, may be removed in the manner prescribed in the sixth and seventh sections of the act to which this is in addition.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That any person, not an inhabitant of this state, who shall reside in any town therein, for the purpose of being instructed as aforesaid, shall be an admissible witness in all prosecutions under the first section of this act, and may be compelled to give testimony therein, notwithstanding any thing contained in this act, or the act last aforesaid.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That so much of the seventh section of the act to which this is an addition, as may provide for the infliction of corporeal punishment, be, and the same is hereby repealed.
SAMUEL INGHAM, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
EBENEZER STODDARD, President of the Senate.
Approved, May 24, 1333.
HENRY W. EDWARDS.
About six weeks after the passage of the above law, and nearly a month after the rising of the General Assembly, Miss C. was notified that a suit would be commenced against her, by the Grand Juror. Her first trial came on before Rufus Adams, Esq. on the 27th June, 1833. At the trial, her counsel gave in a demurrer to the complaint, admitting the facts true, and submitted to the finding of the Court, without argument. The bonds required for her appearance at the next session of the County Court, (August,) were fixed at $150. No one appearing to give bonds for her, she was committed to the County Jail, in Brooklyn, at about 3 o’clock, P. M. on the day of the trial. At about 3 o’clock on the following day, she was released, bonds having been given by George Benson, Esq. whose daughter had remained with Miss Crandall, for company, during the whole of her confinement. Nothing further, of much interest transpired until the time of her trial before the County Court in August last. Of course the opposition to her school continued, but without any decided action. It continues up to this time, and every one must judge for himself, how far that opposition is to be sustained.
Report of the Trial.
WINDHAM COUNTY, SS.
County Court, August Term, A.D. 1833.
Present, JUDGES EATON, GRIFFIN, and CHASE.
State of Connecticut vs. Prudence Crandall.
Information on the Statute, &c.
This case came on for trial before the County Court, on Friday, August 23. C. F. Cleveland, Esq. the Attorney for the State, being absent from indisposition, the Court appointed Jonathan A. Welch, Esq. special Attorney, to conduct the prosecution. A. T. Judson and I. Buckley, Esq’s. were assistant counsel. Hon. Calvin Goddard, Hon. W. W. Ellsworth, and Henry Strong, Esq. appeared for the defence. The Jury being empanneled and sworn, the counsel for the defence objected to one of the Jurors from Canterbury, on the ground that he had signed petitions, &c. in respect to Miss Crandall’s school, and taken active measures to put it down. The Court sustained the objection, and the Juror was excused. They also objected to another of the Jurors, on the ground that he was a member of the Legislature which passed the law—was one of those who voted for it, and had of course formed an opinion with respect to its constitutionality. The Court decided that the Juror was competent to sit. (He got excused however, on account of sickness.) The information against Miss Crandall consisted of two Counts. The first charged ‘that the said Prudence Crandall, on the 24th day of June last, with force and arms, in a certain School, which before that time had been, and then was, set up in said Canterbury, for the instruction and teaching of colored persons, not inhabitants of this State, to wit:—Theodosia Degrass, Ann Peterson, Ann Elizabeth Wilder, Ann Eliza Hammond and others whose names are unknown, who at the time when so taught and instructed, were not inhabitants of any town in this State, which said acts were done by the said Prudence Crandall, without the consent in writing first had and obtained of a majority of the Civil Authority and Selectmen of the said town of Canterbury, within which said School then was instructed, against the peace of this State, and contrary to the forth and effect of the Statute, in such case made and provided.”
The second Count charged “that the Defendant, with force and arms did wilfully and knowingly harbor, board, and aid, and assist, in harboring and boarding certain colored persons, (named above,) who, when so harbored and boarded, were not inhabitants of any town in this State, without the consent in writing of the Civil Authority and Selectmen, &c.—Plea, NOT GUILTY.
The following witnesses were then called on the part of the prosecution:—
Asahel Bacon, said that he called at Miss Crandall’s house in the month of June last, having heard that she had taken some scholars from abroad. Captain Sanger accompanied him—they were both Selectmcn of the town. Miss Crandall invited them into her house, very politely. They asked her in relation to her scholars. She said she had four who were from New York, and one from Hartford. She called them in and introduced them. Theodosia Degrass, Ann Elizabeth Wilder and Catharine Ann Weldon, he thinks were the names of those called. Witness did not remember the day of the month that he called—thinks it was the day after the girls came—certainly soon after.
Ebenezer Sanger, coincided in the statement of Mr Bacon.
George Cady, has conversed with Miss Crandall. Went to her house on Friday last to summon as witnesses to support this prosecution, some of the girls who were attending her school. One of these named in his subpoena, said that she had been sent for home, on account of the sickness of her mother, and wished him to excuse her attendance at Court. Told her he could not, but would state the circumstance to the public prosecutor. Miss Crandall said that she did not see that there was any need of witnesses at all, for she should confess that she had broken the law.
Ann Peterson. This witness was a colored girl, said to be a pupil of Miss Crandall, and was one of those named in the information to whom Miss Crandall had given instruction. Mr Ellsworth objected to the witness, on the ground that she could not testify without implicating herself. Mr Welch read the clause of the Statute under which this prosecution was sustained, in which it was enacted that the pupils in a school kept contrary to the act might be compelled to testily. Mr Ellsworth said that he denied altogether, the competency of the Legislature to compel a witness to testify, or to answer a question that might implicate him, even to render him liable in debt—otherwise a witness ought be compelled to testify to what would charge him with the crime of murder. He alluded to the State Constitution and Bill which, he claimed, protected every person from criminating himself, by being compelled to give testimony. It was contrary to fundamental principles. In this case the testimony of the witness might make her an aider and abettor, and subject her to the penalties imposed by Statute.
Mr Judson claimed that the witness could not by her testimony implicate herself. The law was penal, and must be construed strictly—even if she swore that she was instructed by Miss Crandall, it would not charge herself with any crime. Mr Judson read at length, from Starkie on evidence, to show that the witness ought, on common law principles, to be examined, and was bound to answer questions as is what she knew of Miss Crandall’s school. At all events, he claimed that in this instance, such must be the case, as the Legislature had expressly enacted that the pupils should be witnesses. Mr Ellsworth in reply, said he apprehended the question to be whether the Legislature possess the power to compel a witness to convict himself. He read from the opinion of Chief Justice Hosmer, in the 8th Connecticut Reports, and also from the people, vs. Mather in 4th Kendals Reports, on the subject of examining witnesses. By the principles decided in these cases which were the settled law of the land, he claimed that the witness was not compelled to answer any question in relation to her knowledge of this school. The Court decided that the witness, under these circumstances, was not protected, but must be examined. The examination was about to proceed, when Mr Ellsworth rose and stated to the Court, that the witness had been advised not to answer interrogatories in regard to her knowledge of this School. He felt it his duty now to repeat this advice—he wished the Court distinctly to understand that the counsel for the accused had taken this course, not with a view to embarrass the trial, but solely from a sense of duty—he conscientiously believed that the legal rights of the witness were such that she could not be compelled to testify.—The counsel for the prosecution asked the witness when she came to Canterbury; but she declined answering the question. A number of other questions were then propounded to the witness, the principal of which were—’Has Miss Crandall kept a school for Colored Misses not inhabitants of the State?’ ‘Will you say whether the defendant has or has not instructed any person of color other than yourself, since the 10th of June last?’ ‘With whom do you board?’ ‘Has or has not Miss Crandall, since the 10th of June last, boarded and instructed colored persons not inhabitants of this State?’ To all these and other questions of a similar character the witness declined giving an answer, on the ground that she could not do so without criminating herself.
The counsel for the prosecution then called Catharine Ann Weldon and Ann Eliza Hammond, both girls of valor, and charged with being pupils of Miss C. and propounded to them the same questions as above, but they, for the same alledged reason, and by the advice of counsel declined answering. The prosecuting attorney reserved to himself, tho’ he waived for the present the right of moving that these witnesses be committed for a contempt of Court.
Jacob C. Gould said he was acquainted with Ann Eliza Hammond. She belonged to Providence R. I.—had known her since she was a child—was the daughter of Thomas Hammond, who died in 1826.—Her mother now lives in Providence—the father at his death was worth from $1,500 to $2,000 in real estate.
Levi Kneeland, Was not connected with Miss Crandall’s School except as an adviser in relation to it—was Pastor of the church to which Miss Crandall belonged—had seen several of the colored girls who were present at his church during the summer. In reply to a question whether he had seen one of them at Miss C’s, declined answering—declined to answer whether he had advised Miss Crandall in relation to her school—declined answering whether or not he had been in Miss Crandall’s school since the 10th of June last,—To a question from the prosecuting attorney whether or not he had eaten at Miss C’s since the 10th of June last, he replied that he believed the Court had no business to know. The Court having decided that he was bound to answer the questions put to him, that the reasons he offered for refusing to do so, namely, that the might subject himself to a prosecution and entangle himself in difficulties, were insufficient, granted the motion for a mittimus to commit him to prison; and he was taken into custody by the Sheriff.
Eliza Parkis, (a woman of color,) was acquainted with Ann Eliza Hammond, one of the girls that Miss Crandall was charged with having instructed. Has seen her in Providence—has also seen her at Miss Crandall’s—Miss Crandall has employed witness to wash for her and to do other work—has staid at Miss Crandall’s and slept in a room with Miss Degrass, a colored girl from New York.—Miss C. employed witness to work for her because she said she did not wish to keep her scholars out of school to do work—never saw any of the girls in school—has seen them have books, and read them.
Roland Green (affirmed) has often heard that Miss Crandall keeps a school for colored girls in Canterbury—has been at her house often, was called as a physician—went there and saw several colored girls—heard some of them in grammar, geography, &c—some of the girls have been at his own house—has seen a little girl, said to be from N. York—has heard Miss Crandall talk concerning her scholars from abroad—does not remember to have heard her say that they were from New York.
Mr Kneeland was now placed at the bar by the Sheriff at his request and said that he intended no disrespect to the Court by declining to answer the questions put to him, and on being advised that he should not implicate himself by doing so—he was ready to answer. He proceeded to state that he had visited Miss Crandall’s school twice—once it was under her charge, and once under the charge of another person—he had prayed in her school, and conversed with the girls on religious subjects—does not remember faces as well as people in general, could not therefore positively identify any of those present, as being the ones he had seen at Miss Crandall’s—should think they were—his best belief on the subject would be a guess—had taken meals at Miss Crandall’s, and eaten with her pupils—he heard them recite their lessons—thinks he has heard Miss Hammond spoken of, either by the defendant or her sister—Miss Crandall has conversed with him in relation to her scholars—thinks she has told him that some of them were from N. York, and some from Providence, and, New Haven.
Albert Hinckley has been at Miss Crandall’s several times since the month of June last—knows not whether he has been in her school room or not, as he knows not in which room the school was kept—has never seen her engaged in instructing—has not conversed with her on the subject of the residence of her scholars— called on her as a friend and conversed on various topics—has heard that she kept a school for colored persons—has heard her speak of scholars and school—has seen colored ladies at her house and taken tea with them —cannot say whether any of those present were the ones or not.
Eliza Glasco. This witness was a colored girl belonging to the school, but an inhabitant of this State. The same objection was made to examining her as was before made in respect to the others, but the objection was overruled by the court. She however declined answering the questions propounded to her. The prosecuting attorney moved the court for a mittimus to commit the witness for a contempt of court. The court granted the motion and ordered the clerk to make out a mittimus.
Hezekiah Crandall (affirmed) his sister Prudence keeps a school at Canterbury for colored girls—knows Ann Eliza Hammond—could not certainly recognize any other that was present except perhaps Ann Peterson—has never been in the school or heard the pupils recite—has seen Ann Eliza Hammond at his sisters often during June and July—supposed she was boarded there and instructed by his sister with others —knows by sight and name Amelia Wilder—does not know where she is now—has not heard his sister say anything on the subject of her school for some time—she has resided in Canterbury some portion of the time for twelve years past.
James B. Chandler said that he was at Miss Crandall’s several times last spring.—(Not being able to say with certainty whether he had been there since the passage of the law, he was not interrogated farther.)
George Roberts. Went to Miss Crandall’s about five months ago and carried a Colored Girl, (Miss Hammond) to the school—Miss Hammond, it was said, belonged to Providence—has been at Miss Crandall’s since that time, within ten weeks, and drank tea —then saw Hiss Hammond—does not know whether she constantly boards there or not—has heard her and other colored girls recite in Miss Crandall’s school—should think it was two or three months ago—has been at Miss C’s within a week, but did not as he remembers, see any of the girls present there at that time.
Mary Benson. (affirmed) has been at Miss Crandall’s school, found it very interesting—was never present but for a short time—’tis for colored persons—saw Ann Eliza Hammond there—she is one of the scholars and boas with Miss C.—witness recognized several of those present as among the number she had seen at Miss Crandall’s—one of the pupils, Ann Wilder, was from New York—Miss Hammond was from Providence—witness was at Miss Crandall’s about five weeks since and took tea—several colored girls were at the table—does not know where any of them belonged except by report—visited the school when it was near closing and heard Miss Crandall give the girls instruction in geography and arithmetic.—The prosecuting attorney here rested his evidence, and the Sheriff having served his process on Eliza Glasko, was about committing her to prison, when Mr Ellsworth interposed and stated to the court that rather than have the girl committed he should advise her to testify, again repeating that the course of the defendant’s counsel in relation to the testimony of these girls, was dictated by an imperious sense of professional duty.
Eliza Glasko then proceeded to give her testimony.—She said she was a member of Miss Crandall’s school and that the girls near her were also members—one of them was from Providence and the others were said to be from New York—the ordinary branches were taught them by Miss Crandall, reading, writing, grammar, geography, &c.—witness began to go on the 1st of April—the school was usually opened and closed with prayer—the scriptures were read and explained, daily, in her school—some portions were committed to memory by the pupils, and considered a part of their education.
[Not being able to procure full and accurate copies of all the arguments in this case, it is thought advisable not to lay any part of them before the public, at this time. And considering the result of the trial, it will not probably be expected. The counsel both on the part of the State, and in defence of Miss Crandall, manifested on this occasion, unusual ingenuity and ability. Immediately after the concluding plea, his Hon. Judge Eaton, proceeded to charge the Jury. Although the right of expressing his opinion, as to the constitutionality of the law, was fully exercised, the charge was nevertheless dignified and impartial.]
The Jury retired, and after an absence of several hours, returned in to court, not having agreed on a verdict. They were again ordered out, and again returned, not having agreed. The third time they stated to the court that there was no probability they should agree. The court then discharged them. This operates as a continuance of the case to the next term of the County Court to be holden on the second Tuesday of December next.
- In Miss Crandall’s Letter, recently published, she makes the procuring of apparatus for her white School, one of the objects of her visit to Boston, and in the same letter, states that the only reason why she did not make the intended purchase, was the want of money. Does not the necessity of funds, naturally occur to one, before starting on a journey to make a purchase? The public must judge.
- All Abolitionists, and with a few exceptions, residents of other States.
- It is allowed on all sides, that the proceedings of this meeting, were marked with unusual spirit and unanimity. The object which had called together the people of the town, was of a peculiar nature. All those proceedings, however, are not justifiable. There was one step taken, which cannot be accounted for in any other way than by charging it to the exciting circumstances of the occasion. The step here referred to, is that of refusing to listen, after the town meeting had been dissolved, to those whom Miss Crandall had engaged to speak for her. True, her Agents had no right to interfere with, or disturb that meeting, because they were not citizens of Canterbury, and had nothing to do with its concerns. But after the meeting had been broken up, a proper sense of justice would seem to secure for them the privilege of speaking to the people, if they were disposed to hear. Those who had charge of the meeting house, it will be remembered, directed the gentlemen to retire, that the house might be closed.
- No circumstance in the legal proceedings of the State, in this, case, has been more ungenerously perverted, than the manner in which she was committed to jail, and the treatment she received while there. The most astonishing statement of all is, that she was thrown into the cell of a murderer, when the truth is, she occupied the debtor’s room, which no one will call uncomfortable in the least, who will take the trouble to examine it. The cell referred to, is located in the opposite corner of the building. This statement is the only one, on this point, that has any claim to truth. Miss C. ought to have given herself a little trouble to correct those misstatements, in a public manner, and more especially to express, in some way or other, her acknowledgements for the gratuitous favors which she received at the hands of the Jailor. This was not done, however.
- It has been charged upon the people of Canterbury, that their excited and unjustifiable state of feeling, led them to indecorous measures against the school.—Such as disturbing the Instructress and her pupils in their walks,—encouraging improper assaults upon her house, &c. Such conduct, (it is stated upon the best authority,) never was sanctioned by her opponents. Whenever any thing of the kind was resorted to, it was the work of boyish folly, or is chargeable upon some of the blacks belonging to the neighborhood.