Derby History Quiz
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Diversity in Derby History
Played dominant role in election of Black Governors of Connecticut
The Freeman Homestead at Derby Neck (photo courtesy of Derby Historical Society)
The Valley Independent Sentinel did an updated story on the Black
Governors and an archaeological dig in Osbornedale State Park
designed to help enhance knowledge of the Governors and their Derby
Click here to read.
Though not much publicized, there was slavery at one time in Derby and
throughout the state. Slaves first appeared in
Connecticut in the 1620's and the practice was first recognized legally in 1650.
In 1774, Connecticut barred the importation of slaves and in 1783 passed gradual
emancipation laws which outlawed the practice and turned former slaves into "freemen."
slave in Derby by the name of Quash came to be known as Quash Freeman when his master, Agur Tomlinson, set him free and gave him
the use of 30 acres of land at Derby Neck
including the homestead pictured above. Quash and his son, Roswell Quash Freeman
and two other Derby men going by the name of Tobias (one of whom was the father
of Ebeneezer Basset
, the first
native-born, Afro-American U.S. Ambassador) went on to hold the
unique, pseudo-governmental title of "Black Governor" in Connecticut. Recently,
there has been a great deal of scholarly research conducted to examine the
practice to determine its proper placed in Connecticut history. You can read
more about the practice and see a listing of the governors
. What is
truly amazing is the incredible place that Derby held in the history of the
practice as no other city provided as many Black Governors as did Derby!
Correct answers were received
from: Ann Searles, Joe Melewski, Marc J. Garofalo, John Millea, Jim
Bartlett, Raymond M. Petrillo, Cyndi Poppa, Joan Driscoll, Joe Dedo, Robert
Hyder, Fred Grant,
Millie Fatterusso, Randy Ritter, Lynne Anglace,
Cheryl Wakeman, Dave Petz, Eileen Krugel, Mary Dave deRosa, Lou Boroski,
Marsha Pettengill, Ken Dupke, Ray Allen (DHS '75), Joe Duggan, Paul
Comkowycz, Rick Dunne, Nick from Terryville, Eddie Calvert, Kimberley
Shelton, KIM Dupke, Joe Pinto and Bob Ahearn.
To see our other earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique
history, click here.