By Kendra Baker in the Ridgefield NewsTimes on December 10, 2023
RIDGEFIELD — The lives of two individuals enslaved in town in the 18th century have been memorialized and remembered as “undeniably human” as part of an ongoing student-led research project.
“Their names were Peter and Dinah,” a local eighth grader said during a Nov. 15 ceremony outside the Ridgefield Historical Society, where plaques honoring the two former slaves were recently placed. “Both were enslaved in this very town. Neither had any reason to be enslaved, but they were. They were undeniably human, but they weren’t treated as such.”
The ceremony followed weeks of research by eighth graders from East Ridge and Scotts Ridge middle schools, in partnership with the historical society and the Witness Stones Project. It was all part of a project-based learning experience that allows students to honor former enslaved residents whose stories have not been fully told.
Plaques commemorating Dinah and Peter were placed next to two installed last year in honor of Lidia and Quash outside the David Scott House, which serves as the Ridgefield Historical Society’s headquarters.