Guilford’s “Complicity” with Slavery and the West India Trade Using The Foote Collection of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

March 7, 2019

Beth Burgess of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center along with Dennis Culliton of the Witness Stones Project will share manuscripts and stories about Stowe’s maternal family from Guilford, the Hudson Valley, and Jamaica.  From the Foote Collection they will display and share their analysis of ship’s manifests with consigned cargo from prominent Guilford families, account books referencing the sale of spices and rental of slaves, correspondence from the American South and the West Indies, stories of disease and death, the exploitation of the enslaved and other people of color in Guilford, East Hampton, Long Island, and Litchfield, and stories of hope and despair. The narrative of this family, which produces the greatest abolitionists of the mid-19th century, reflects the normalcy of the exploitation the enslaved during the previous generation.


This presentation is part of a two-part series which will conclude on April 9th with Jenifer Frank and Anne Farrow, co-authors of Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery sharing the story of gathering the evidence and writing the book. The Witness Stones Project hopes that attendees will read the book Complicity between the presentations and come to the book talk and discussion with questions, connections, and inspiration from the past to affect the present. 


This project is co-sponsored by the Witness Stones Project, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, the Guilford Preservation Alliance, and funded by the Guilford Foundation.


Location Guilford Free Library 67 Park Street Guilford, CT 06437
Doors Open 6:30 PM
Program 7 PM - 8 PM
Elizabeth Burgess
Collections Manager