Connecticut Stories 3. Reaction

He built New Haven’s Long Wharf, but do we remember William Lanson?

New Haven’s William Lanson stood in direct contradiction to every prejudice that existed about black people in early nineteenth-century America. He was forward-thinking, entrepreneurial, community-minded and wealthy. He owned a contracting business, many properties and a livery stable, and he encouraged home ownership and industry among the members of his community. Lanson, who imagined a future without a color line, was ready and able to think outside the box of American slavery–even more ready, it seems, than the state where he lived.