Hebron’s Connections to Slavery, Abolitionism and Freedmen’s Assistance

image2Josephine Griffing courtesy Google Images

image1Cesar Peters and the Slave Trader Sketch by Carol A. Taylor

For a small, rural Connecticut town, Hebron has played a surprisingly significant role in both the movement to abolish slavery in America and the movement to help freed slaves adapt to their changed circumstances after the Civil War.

Hebron’s involvement in the abolition movement centers around an episode in 1787, in which two slaves, Cesar and Lowis Peters and their children were abducted from their Hebron home and then rescued by their white neighbors, who out-maneuvered the slavers with a fake arrest warrant. This event is the earliest documented abolitionist movement in New England.

The Hebron connection to abolition continued through the efforts of Josephine (White) Griffing, a Hebron native who later became a nationally recognized speaker for abolition and women’s rights in the years before the Civil War. After the war, Josephine was a leader in establishing job training programs through the Freedmen’s Bureau to help former slaves adapt to the new industrial economy.

For more information about Hebron’s connections to slavery, abolition and freedmen’s assistance, click on the following links: