Memorializing Westport’s Enslaved People

The memorial wall in Remembered featured the names of the 241 enslaved and 19 free people of color who appear in the Greens Farms Congregational Church log book from 1742 to 1822 as births, marriages, baptisms and deaths. Throughout the exhibit’s one-year run, the public was able to purchase memorial bricks in order to install them in the WM brick walk as the Save Their Names Project. The brick walk was inaugurated on June 30th, 2019 in a ceremony attending by local dignitaries and three descendants of Tim & Lill who are among the enslaved people memorialized on the wall.

To celebrate Juneteenth the museum held a Live Author Talk on Zoom with theater professor and playwright, Kyle Bass who discussed his play “Possessing Harriet” the story of an enslaved woman Harriet Powell, traveling with her captors from the South to Upstate New York, who finds refuge in the home of abolitionist Gerrit Smith and there meets his young cousin Elizabeth Cady (later Stanton). Kyle discussed his play in progress about his ancestors Tim & Lill Bennett who were enslaved in Westport in a home on Compo Road South as well as taking questions from viewers.

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