Relegated to Permanent Inferiority in Connecticut
Professor Cyde Wilson suggests that revealing the history of the North is long overdue, and the result may tell us more about the issue of African slavery in North America than what has been told so far. The following excerpt shows a small Connecticut community in the mid-1700’s with an institutionalized "Jim Crow" system for dealing with its slaves; the Indian question had already been resolved by enslavement and transport to West Indies sugar plantations, and the remainder were sold firewater to drink themselves to death with.
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Relegated to Permanent Inferiority in Connecticut:
"The town’s slave population, while not large, was as substantial as that of any Connecticut town. perhaps accounting for about 4% of the total population. These were persons without hope for the future, persons relegated to a permanent inferiority, living anonymous lives of service.
Fairfield’s growing trade encouraged the growth of its slave population. Approximately three out of every four blacks in Fairfield in the 1770’s were slaves. Most of them were men who worked as laborers or household servants; a smaller number of women were household servants; and even a smaller number were children. Most slaves were denied the pleasure of residing, with or without the benefit of marriage, with a member of the opposite sex. Captain David Judson owned a married couple and their child, but more typical was Hezekiah Gold, who owned four men, a "wench," and young man and two boys. Slavery was a luxury that Farifield came to afford as it became affluent. Most free blacks in Farifield worked as laborers, either on the docks or on board ship.
Many Fairfield residents shared barely in the new prosperity. The fortunes of the town’s slaves failed to improve with their masters’. Except for the slave population, the town provided its residents with a solid chance to make a good life for thmeselves and their families. Indians were no longer a military problem; in fact, Nathan Birdsey told Ezra Stiles in 1761 that there were no longer any Native Americans living in the area, "only here and there a scattering Squaw and scarcely a Poppoose." Even as early as 1728, the Reverend Henry Caner had written that "the Indian numbers were very small about Fairfield, by reason of the vicious lives they led, with their excessive drinking which destroys them apace." Significantly, Caner blamed their proclivity toward drunkeness as well as their "inveterate prejudice against Christianity…on the shamefully wicked lives of us its professors."
The fight against slavery (in the War Between the States) interested few Fairfield men and women. Fairfield’s indifference about the slavery issue was part of a lack of concern about blacks in general. In 1857, Connecticut conducted a referendum on the question of extending the franchise to blacks in the State. Eight of every ten voters throughout the State opposed the extension; in Farifield County, the vote was nine to one against."
(Fairfield: The Biography of a Community 1639-1989, Thomas J. Farnham, Phoenix Publishing, 1988, excerpts pp. 51-173)