Venture Smith's Lost Land
Marta Daniels and Nancy Byrne talked about how they discovered the location of Venture Smith’s first farm. They used deed… read more
Marta Daniels and Nancy Byrne talked about how they discovered the location of Venture Smith’s first farm. They used deed research, computer mapping with correction for magnetic drift, and field surveying to locate and verify a rare land purchase by a free black in pre-revolutionary New England. Ms. Daniels showed slides as she told the history of the property and its re-discovery. Then Mr. Saint and Ms. Byrne joined her in responding to questions from members of the audience.
Venture Smith was enslaved in Africa as a child and brought to New England in 1739. He accomplished the rare feat of buying his own freedom in 1765 and then five years later purchased 26 acres of farm land on Barn Island in Stonington, Connecticut. The site had been mistakenly identified until the summer of 2009.
“Hidden in Plain Sight: Solving the Mystery of Venture’s "Lost” Land in Stonington" was a panel of the annual conference “Documenting Venture Smith: The Story of a Struggle for Democracy,” which was held at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection headquarters in Hartford. close
*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
People in this video
- Saint, Chandler B. President Beecher House Center for the Study of Equal Rights
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