OLD LYME – The Old Lyme Witness Stones Partnership held an installation ceremony last Friday, June 4, celebrating the town’s newly installed Witness Stones—historical plaques commemorating the lives of 14 individuals, who were once enslaved on Lyme Street.
The project expands the understanding of local history and honors the humanity and contributions of those formerly held in bondage. Continue reading.
In the fall of 2020, eighth graders at the Country School began researching the life of Tamar. Tamar began her life in west Africa around the year 1744 and was captured and transported to New England, where she was enslaved by the Reverend Jonathan Todd, the second pastor of the First Congregational Church of East Guilford (now Madison). Student artwork and writing inspired by their research can be found here. A Witness Stones for Tamar was installed alongside her daughter Lettuce’s Witness Stone. These memorials honor the mother and daughter and all they brought to our community.
By Jim Altman on Fox61 News
OLD LYME, Conn. — The Witness Stones Project, a non-profit initiative that honors enslaved people that worked and lived in Connecticut centuries ago has now made its mark in Old Lyme.
Outside the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, a ceremony took place to recognize 14 Witness Stones that are along Lyme Street in town. Continue reading.
By Cate Hewitt in CTExaminer on June 4, 2021
OLD LYME — Cato, Lewis Lewia, Humphrey, Caeser, Jack Howard, Jenny Freeman, Luce, Crusa, Nancy Freeman, Temperance Still, Jane, Pompey Freeman, Samuel Freeman, and Arabella — 14 African Americans who were once enslaved along what is now Lyme St.
Until recently, their history had been almost entirely unknown and untold, and few people knew the history of slavery in Connecticut. Continue reading.
From NBC News Connecticut on June 4, 2021
Stones honoring the lives of formerly enslaved people now line Lyme Street in Old Lyme. The fourteen plaques are called “witness stones” and are designed to help people learn about and honor the enslaved people who lived in town.
“To help people understand the true history of their town because you lose things when you forget,” said Pat Wilson Pheanious.
Wilson Pheanious is the co-chair of the board of directors for the Witness Stones Project. The project has helped communities across Connecticut, including Guilford and New Haven, remember those who have gone unrecognized for so long. Continue reading.
By Lucy Gellman on Arts Council Greater New Haven on June 4, 2021
Sixth grader Kymani Chapman held a heavy cube steady in both hands, the letters on its face glinting. A name caught in the light: Stepna Primus, once enslaved by Amos Morris, Isaac Forbes and Enos Hemmingway in New Haven. Chapman steadied himself, feet spread wide as he lowered the stone into the ground. As he did, over two centuries of untold history came rushing back to a city that has tried to wipe them clean. Continue reading.
Seventh-grade students from the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School wrote poems to tell the life stories of Jenny Freeman and Lewis Lewia.
By Ilona Binch
Sun shining through the windows.
Children running through the halls.
There were joyful voices in the air
Even though nothing was right at all.
I was knitting socks and gloves
For children that weren’t mine.
My children worked for families that weren’t ours.
Their children got toys – my children got scars.
My body was their property.
To the Noyes my enslavers.
I took care of their children,
But my thoughts were of mine.
When I was “Old Jenny,”
I worked and worked not even getting a penny.
I would care, and I would clean.
I was nothing, not even a thing
When I was a “Freeman,”
I was something
I helped others be free like me.
No one should have to suffer the indignities of slavery.
By Elizabeth Regan in The Day on June 4, 2021
Old Lyme — Though they are the town’s youngest historians, they are among the first to reveal centuries-old stories of the people enslaved on Lyme Street.
Seventh graders at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School this year pieced together the stories of Jenny Freeman and Lewis Lewia, two of the people held in bondage on the street once inhabited by wealthy sea captains, shipbuilders and merchants.
It’s all part of the Witness Stones Old Lyme community partnership to install small plaques commemorating individuals once enslaved. A ceremony was held Friday after the first 14 stones were placed earlier this week. Continue reading.
OLD LYME – The Old Lyme Witness Stones Partnership will hold an installation ceremony Friday, June 4, from 10 to 11:15 a.m. celebrating the town’s newly installed Witness Stones—historical plaques commemorating the lives of 14 individuals, who were once enslaved on Lyme Street. Continue reading.