The Torrington Historical Society will host a presentation titled “Slavery in Connecticut” on Wednesday, February 17th at 6:30 p.m. The program, which will take place in the Society’s Carriage House Gallery, 192 Main Street, is being presented by Dr. Karl Valois, a noted historian. Admission is free for Torrington Historical Society members; $3 for non-members.
Dr. Karl Valois will lecture about the origins of slavery in America and how Connecticut and the North benefited from slavery. Among the topics to be discussed will be: the distribution of slaves throughout the state; the prominent citizens who became slaveholders; the nature of the slaves’ work; and the important forces of the antislavery movement that successfully agitated for the gradual abolition of slavery in Connecticut.
Karl Valois has taught at the University of Connecticut, Torrington since 1987. He was awarded a Yale University Fellowship and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. Karl Valois has published more than two dozen articles, edited two textbooks on European History, and written small books on the Korean War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. He has appeared frequently on radio and television, hosting his own weekly public television series (“Historically Speaking”). Dr. Valois also appeared in the Torrington Historical Society’s documentary, Pursuit of Precision: The History of the Hendey Machine Company. He has lectured on slavery and abolitionism in Connecticut at Yale and co-chaired a symposium on the Civil War at UConn. In 2004, Dr. Valois was invited to Oxford University to lecture during a week-long conference on Women’s History and to participate in the re-enactment of the historic Lane Theological Seminary Debates in Oberlin, Ohio.
Attendees to this program will also have an opportunity to view a traveling exhibition which is currently on view at the Society. Making Freedom: The Life of Venture Smith, In His Own Words tells the compelling story of Smith, an African who was captured and enslaved for decades in New England prior to purchasing his freedom and the freedom of his family. Venture Smith went on to become a successful businessman in Connecticut prior to his death in 1805.
For more area event information visit www.litchfieldhills.com