January 18, 2018
Diana Ross McCain, author of the new historical novel Thy Children’s Children, will give a talk on the Lyman’s of Lyman Orchards. Between 1741 and 1871, Lyman men and women established and nurtured a farm and homestead that are owned by descendants to this day. They also took part, often at great personal peril, in political, moral, and economic movements that shaped the course of American history. One generation fought for American independence on the battlefield and the home front. Another crusaded to abolish slavery from the United States. Today the eighth and ninth generations of Lymans operate Lyman Orchards, a 1,100-acre agricultural/recreational complex that includes the land first purchased in 1741.
February 15, 2018
Maisa Tisdale, President of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community will give a talk on the Historic Freeman Houses of Little Liberia. Little Liberia was a community of freed blacks born in Connecticut, West Indians, Cape Verdeans, runaway enslaved persons from southern states, and remnants of Indian tribes from Connecticut and New York State. This village came to be known as Ethiope. By 1850 the community came to be known as “Liberia,” evidently reflecting the pride felt by its residents in helping their brethren on the road to freedom. In the 1900’s the Community was affectionately referred to as “Little Liberia.” The Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses are significant as the last two surviving homes of “Little Liberia,” a settlement of free African Americans in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
March 15, 2018
Mary Mahoney Ph.D., Candidate in History at the University of Connecticut, will give a talk on Prescribing from the Bookshelf: Louise Sweet and Connecticut’s Role in the Library War Service. When Connecticut’s servicemen went to war in 1917 they didn’t go alone. Connecticut’s charitable organizations and libraries, supported by donations from the state’s residents, provided reading materials for soldiers and sailors throughout the war. Librarians who served on the front lines and in military hospitals believed books had important uses during the war: to educate, to entertain, and when prescribed in hospitals, to heal. This talk will offer a history of the Library War Service itself, the roles women played as librarians dispensing books, and Connecticut’s place in this history.