Citizens ALL: African Americans in Connecticut 1700-1850


About The Project


“Citizens All” is the collaborative work of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (GLC) and the Center for Media and Instructional Innovation (CMI2) at Yale University. Aimed at both students and teachers, this project illustrates the importance of local history in creating as well as challenging how national and global histories are retold. The stories of international history begin with local events, with the stories of individuals, real people and places in our own backyards.

The project provides a scholarly introduction to the history of slavery in Connecticut, the process of gradual emancipation, and the struggle for citizenship rights by free blacks and abolitionists both within and beyond the state’s boundaries.

The story of African Americans’ efforts to become full citizens raises important questions about the very definition of “citizenship” and the ideals upon which the United States was founded. We hope that the project contributes to larger discussions of issues such as freedom, education or citizenship and stimulates new discoveries about the legacies of slavery and racism at local, regional, national and international levels.

“Citizens All” grew out of GLC involvement with the US Partnership of the UNESCO Transatlantic Slave Trade Education Project: Breaking The Silence.


Executive producers: David Blight (GLC), Paul Lawrence (CMI2)

Co-producers: Angela Keiser (GLC), David Hirsch (CMI2)

Content development: Anne Farrow, Peter Hinks, Donna McCalla, Thomas Thurston (GLC)

Video production and editing: Karyl Evans, Doug Forbush (CMI2), John Minard, Keith Sandler, David Streit, Steve Wytas

Web design and development: James Milam and Chris Amelung (CMI2)

Special thanks to: Kaz Kazslowski and Nicole Chalfant, Prudence Crandall Museum; Heather Morgan and the staff of the Mark Twain Library; Matthew Troy; Connecticut Historical Society; staff of the Town of Greenwich Historical Society (especially Heather Cotter, Michele Couture, Teresa DeFlitch, Debra L. Mecky, Nola Taylor, and Anne Young); staff of the Stamford, CT Probate Court; American Antiquarian Society; Readex/NewsBank; and our featured speakers Calista Cleary, Donna McCalla, Wm. Frank Mitchell, and Jennifer Rycenga.

About The Gilder Lehrman Center

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition strives to make a vital contribution to the understanding of slavery and its role in the development of the modern world. While the Center’s primary focus has been on scholarly research, it also seeks to bridge the divide between scholarship and public knowledge by opening channels of communication between the scholarly community and the wider public. In collaboration with secondary schools, museums, parks, historical societies, and other related institutions, the Center facilitates a locally rooted understanding of the global impact of slavery.

For more information about the Gilder Lehrman Center, please see our main web site: We also invite you to contact us by email: