This book was written by students from the Country School of Madison in remembrance of Tamar.
By Jesse Williams on Zip06.com on June 15, 2021
MADISON — More than 200 years ago, here on the same beaches where Madison residents are currently laid out on the sand catching some sun, a shipwreck washed ashore. From that ship, a handful of people emerged, people who mostly would be spending the rest of their lives working, living, praying, and raising families in what was then known as East Guilford.
Very little is known about these shipwreck survivors. For the most part, their lineages haven’t been traced; their descendants cannot look back on old letters or follow some long record of property ownership to a plot of land in Madison, as many others in town can.
That is because these people were enslaved by the Reverend John Todd of Madison First Congregational Church, having been forcibly removed from their families and homes likely in West Africa, enduring the long Middle Passage across the Atlantic to become unwilling, unsung early settlers on the Connecticut shoreline. 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 Jesse Williams on ZIP06.COM on August 19, 2020.
GUILFORD MADISON —Though the pandemic prevented a large community ceremony, Madison saw the installation of its first Witness Stone in front of the First Congregational Church earlier this month, with students from The Country School (TCS) completing the year-long research project into the life of Lettuce (pronounced leh-TOOS) Bailey, a woman who was enslaved in Madison in the late 18th- and early 19th century. Continue reading.
We invite you to watch the installation of the Witness Stone to remember and honor Lettuce Bailey. The ceremony was hosted by The Country School of Madison.
By Jesse Williams in Zip06.com on July 8, 2020
MADISON — After months of research, writing, and conversations, students from The Country School (TCS) have finished up their research on one of Madison’s enslaved residents as part of the Witness Stones Project, with plans to come together and install a marker in front of the First Congregational Church next month. Continue reading.
From The Country School, published April 2020.
Eighth Graders at the School began participating in the Witness Stones Project in the fall of 2019, setting out to tell an untold story about a woman named Lettuce Bailey, who was enslaved in Madison, Connecticut, until she was freed in the late 18th century, first in 1791 and then again in 1793. By recovering and sharing Lettuce’s story and installing a brass Witness Stones memorial in her honor, students also sought to tell a broader, and largely unknown, story about our local community. Continue to the Country School website.
From The Country School website, published April 2020.
By Jesse Williams in Zip06.com on December 18, 2019
MADISON — As 7th- and 8th-grade students at The Country School (TCS) prepare to delve into the history of local slavery and the lives of enslaved people as part of The Witness Stones Project, the school hosted a speaker whose words and insights helped prepare students for the tragic and personal explorations they will soon undertake. Continue reading.
By Jesse Williams on Zip06.com on November 20, 2019
MADISON — While slavery has remained a consistent, underlying thread causing harm and affecting communities throughout the country, the realities of what slavery looked like in any given place often remains unexplored, according to Dennis Culliton, a former Guilford teacher who has made it his mission to tell those stories and honor those individuals. Due to the efforts of local students, the story of individuals who lived in slavery in Madison will soon be shared. Continue reading.