Acknowledging the 175th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery in the State of Connecticut and Creating an ECCT Reparations Fund-Appendix A

WHEREAS: The first known African recorded in the Connecticut Colony, Louis Berbice, was brought to Hartford by his master, Commissary Gysbert Opdyck from Dutch Guiana in 1638; and
WHEREAS, Connecticut blocked the importation of enslaved people in 1774, via the passage in the state legislature of the “Act for Prohibiting the Importation of Indian, Negro or Molatto Slaves”1; and
WHEREAS, Connecticut began a gradual emancipation of enslaved people in 1784, through the passage by the state legislature of the “Gradual Abolition Act” of that year, through which all enslaved people born after March 1, 1784, would become free upon attaining the age of 25 for men and 21 for women, (though it did not free the parents, or any other adult enslaved people)2; and
WHEREAS, in 1844, Connecticut Governor Roger Sherman Baldwin proposed legislation to abolish slavery, but the proposal was opposed by the Connecticut Legislature3; and
WHEREAS, in 1848, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed “An Act to Prevent Slavery,” effectively abolishing slavery in Connecticut; and
WHEREAS, Connecticut’s last enslaved person, Nancy Toney of Windsor, died in 1857, marking the end of an era of more than two hundred years of slavery in Connecticut4; and
WHEREAS, the people of the State of Connecticut, ECCT, and the parishes of ECCT all benefitted economically (directly and indirectly) from the institution of chattel slavery practiced within Connecticut and throughout the nation during the 200-year period from 1638 to 1848; and
WHEREAS, the value of the economic benefits derived by the Church from chattel slavery has appreciated substantially from 1638 to the present, increasing more than 45 fold ($1 in 1638 is equivalent to $45 in 2023)5; and
WHEREAS, THE 236TH Convention of ECCT acknowledged “that social and racial justice are core values rooted in the Gospel and central to furthering God’s mission in and through the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, and that God calls us to acknowledge, confront, and dismantle racism, white supremacy and anti-Black bias in our nation and in ECCT.”

[1] McManus, Edgar J. (2001). Black Bondage in the North. Syracuse: University Press. p. 6. ISBN 0-8156-2893-5.

[2] Hoadly, Charles J. (1850). The public records of the Colony of Connecticut. Vol. 14. Hartford: Brown & Parsons. p. 329and Ed Stannard (June 19, 2020). “Slavery in Connecticut, ended only in 1848, had a long history”. The Middletown Press.

[3] Harris, Katherine J. (2014). “Colonization and Abolition in Connecticut”. In Normen, Elizabeth J.; Harris, Katherine J.; Close, Stacey K.; Mitchell, Wm. Frank; White, Olivia (eds.). African American Connecticut Explored. Wesleyan University Press. p. 67.

[4] Ibid.

[5] “Inflation Calculator.” U.S. Official Inflation Data, Alioth Finance, 13 Sep. 2023,