Connecticut’s Black Governors

Author(s): Warren Perry; Gerald Sawyer; Janet Woodruff

Year: 2014


From the mid-18th to mid-19th century, Connecticut’s African-American community maintained an autonomous political and cultural structure headed by elected officials known as Black Governors. Their responsibilities included presiding over legal matters in the Black community, officiating at ceremonies, and maintaining an African-based social organization that was long ignored or misunderstood in European-focused histories. Despite their importance, the Black Governors are relatively unknown to most Connecticut residents.In 2010 and 2012, the Archaeology Laboratory for African & African Diaspora Studies began archaeological investigations in Osbornedale State Park in Derby, Connecticut, at the homesite of Black Governors Quosh Freeman and Roswell Freeman. This is the first, and thus far only, archaeological examination of a Black Governors’ site. These preliminary excavations focused on locating and determining the uses over time of multiple foundations and features on the Freeman property. This paper will outline the first two field seasons of this ongoing project.

Cite this Record

Connecticut’s Black Governors. Warren Perry, Gerald Sawyer, Janet Woodruff. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436910)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-37,02