ERIC Number: ED200497
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-9
Reference Count: 0
Connecticut's Canterbury Tale: Prudence Crandall and the "School for Nigger Girls".
Prevailing animosity toward blacks in New England prior to the Civil War is demonstrated in this case study of Prudence Crandall's attempt to establish a school for Negro girls in Canterbury, Connecticut, in 1833. Prudence Crandall, a quaker schoolmistress, was the successful proprietor of a school for girls from socially prominent families in Canterbury. She was also an abolitionist. When she decided to allow black girls to enroll in her previously all white school, she was confronted with bigotry, slander, incarceration, violence, and arson. Although Miss Crandall eventually decided to close her school in 1834 to protect her personal safety and the safety of her pupils, she was vindicated over 50 years later when Canterbury citizens petitioned the General Assembly of Connecticut to award her an annuity of $400 for the remainder of her life and to continue efforts begun by her in the 1830s to provide educational opportunities for blacks. The importance of Prudence Crandall's experience is twofold. First, her story is a good example of how persistent individual courage can prevail against widely held social bias. Second, the saga of Prudence Crandall is of historical importance because it became a rallying cry for abolitionists in New England. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Connecticut (Canterbury); Crandall (Prudence)
Note: Paper delivered at Central States Speech Association Convention (Chicago, IL, April 9-11, 1981).