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African American Connecticut Explored

Elizabeth J. Normen

The numerous essays by many of the state’s leading historians in African American Connecticut Explored document an array of subjects beginning from the earliest years of the state’s colonization around 1630 and continuing well into the 20th century. The voice of Connecticut’s African Americans rings clear through topics such as the Black Governors of Connecticut, nationally prominent black abolitionists like the reverends Amos Beman and James Pennington, the African American community’s response to the Amistad trial, the letters of Joseph O. Cross of the 29th Regiment of Colored Volunteers in the Civil War, and the Civil Rights work of baseball great Jackie Robinson (a twenty-year resident of Stamford), to name a few. Insightful introductions to each section explore broader issues faced by the state’s African American residents as they struggled for full rights as citizens. This book represents the collaborative effort of Connecticut Explored and the Amistad Center for Art & Culture, with support from the State Historic Preservation Office and Connecticut’s Freedom Trail. It will be a valuable guide for anyone interested in this fascinating area of Connecticut’s history.

Contributors include Billie M. Anthony, Christopher Baker, Whitney Bayers, Barbara Beeching, Andra Chantim, Stacey K. Close, Jessica Colebrook, Christopher Collier, Hildegard Cummings, Barbara Donahue, Mary M. Donohue, Nancy Finlay, Jessica A. Gresko, Katherine J. Harris, Charles (Ben) Hawley, Peter Hinks, Graham Russell Gao Hodges, Eileen Hurst, Dawn Byron Hutchins, Carolyn B. Ivanoff, Joan Jacobs, Mark H. Jones, Joel Lang, Melonae’ McLean, Wm. Frank Mitchell, Hilary Moss, Cora Murray, Elizabeth J. Normen, Elisabeth Petry, Cynthia Reik, Ann Y. Smith, John Wood Sweet, Charles A. Teale Sr., Barbara M. Tucker, Tamara Verrett, Liz Warner, David O. White, and Yohuru Williams.


Ebook Edition Note: One illustration has been redacted.

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Barns of Connecticut

Markham Starr

Featuring more than 100 stunning full-color photographs along with helpful diagrams and historic photos, Barns of Connecticut captures both the iconic and the unique, including historic and noteworthy barns. The book discusses the importance of barns to Connecticut agriculture across our state and up to the present day. Markham Starr's Barns of Connecticut offers a lovely introduction to the architectural, functional, and agricultural roles these structures played in early Connecticut. Through text and color photographs, it tells a story of change and continuity. From the earliest colonial structures to the low steel buildings of modern dairy farms, barns have adapted to meet the needs of each generation; they've stored wheat, hay, and tobacco, and housed farm animals and dairy cows. These enduring structures display the optimism, ingenuity, hard work, and practicality of the people who tend land and livestock throughout the state.

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Henry Austin

In Every Variety of Architectural Style

James F. O’Gorman

Henry Austin's (1804-1891) works receive consideration in books on nineteenth-century architecture, yet no book has focused scholarly attention on his primary achievements in New Haven, Connecticut, in Portland, Maine, and elsewhere. Austin was most active during the antebellum era, designing exotic buildings that have captured the imaginations of many for decades. James F. O'Gorman deftly documents Austin's work during the 1840s and '50s, the time when Austin was most productive and creative, and for which a wealth of material exists. The book is organized according to various building types: domestic, ecclesiastic, public, and commercial. O'Gorman helps to clarify what buildings should be attributed to the architect and comments on the various styles that went into his eclectic designs. Henry Austin is lavishly illustrated with 132 illustrations, including 32 in full color. Three extensive appendices provide valuable information on Austin's books, drawings, and his office.

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Heroes for All Time

Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories

Dione Longley

Voices of Civil War soldiers rise from the pages of Heroes for All Time. This book presents the war straight from the minds and pens of its participants; rich passages from soldiers’ letters and diaries complement hundreds of outstanding period photographs, most previously unpublished. The soldiers’ moving experiences, thoughts, and images animate each chapter. Written accounts by nurses and doctors, soldiers’ families, and volunteers on the home front add intriguing details to our picture of the struggle, which claimed roughly 6,000 Connecticut lives. Rare war artifacts—a bone ring carved on the battlefield or a wad of tobacco acquired from a rebel picket—connect the reader to the men and boys who once owned them. From camp life to battle, from Virginia to Louisiana, from the opening shot at Bull Run to the cheering at Appomattox, Heroes for All Time tells the story of the war through vivid, personal portrayals.

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Hidden in Plain Sight

A Deep Traveler Explores Connecticut

David K. Leff

In the course of the mundane routines of life, we encounter a variety of landscapes and objects, either ignoring them or looking without interest at what appears to be just a tree, stone, anonymous building, or dirt road. But the "deep traveler," according to Hartford Courant essayist David K. Leff, doesn't make this mistake. Instead, the commonplace elements become the most important. By learning to see the magic in the mundane, we not only enrich daily life with a sense of place, we are more likely to protect and make those places better. Over his many years working at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and writing about the state's landscape, Leff gained unparalleled intimacy while traveling its byways and back roads. In Hidden in Plain Sight, Leff's essays and photographs take us on a point-by-point journey, revealing the rich stories behind many of Connecticut's overlooked landmarks, from the Merritt Parkway and Cornwall's Cathedral Pines to roadside rock art and centuries-old milestones.

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Inside Connecticut and the Civil War

Essays on One State’s Struggles

Matthew Warshauer

This collection of nine original essays provides a rich new understanding of Connecticut’s vital role in the Civil War. The book’s nine chapters address an array of individual topics that together weave an intricate fabric depicting the state’s involvement in this tumultuous period of American history. In-depth examinations of subjects as diverse as the abolitionist movement in Windham County, the shipbuilding industry in Mystic, and post-traumatic stress disorder in Connecticut veterans serve as an excellent companion to Matthew Warshauer’s earlier book on the subject, Connecticut in the American Civil War: Slavery, Sacrifice, and Survival. Contributors include David C. W. Batch, Luke G. Boyd, James E. Brown, Michael Conlin, Emily E. Gifford, Todd Jones, Diana Moraco, Carol Patterson-Martineau, and Michael Sturges.

Ebook Edition Note: 6 illustrations have been redacted.

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Maple Sugaring

Keeping It Real in New England

David K. Leff

The art and science of maple syrup, and stories from the people who make it

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Music at Wesleyan

From Glee Club to Gamelan

Mark Slobin

This is the first account of the evolution of music at Wesleyan University, a campus known since the mid-nineteenth century for its musical life--first as the "Singing College of New England" and then, after 1960, as the home of a renowned undergraduate and graduate department that integrates world music studies with more traditional Western and experimental musical forms. Through excerpts from accounts in the campus newspaper over the earlier decades and eyewitness accounts by key figures in recent times, the book compactly surveys a wide range of musical formations, practices, repertoires, and events from the 1830s to the early 2000s. Vividly illustrated with both historical and contemporary images, Music at Wesleyan presents a portrait of the school that today blends educational innovation and cultural diversity with creative passion and intellectual rigor, and includes a foreword by Richard K. Winslow, the John Spencer Camp Professor of Music, Emeritus at Wesleyan University. A companion digital archive at http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/maw_audio/ features audio files of glee club, gamelan, jazz, experimental, African, Indian, and other performances.

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The Old Leather Man

Historical Accounts of a Connecticut and New York Legend

Dan W. DeLuca

In 1883, wearing a sixty-pound suit sewn from leather boot-tops, a wanderer known only as the Leather Man began to walk a 365 mile loop between the Connecticut and Hudson Rivers that he would complete every 34 days, for almost six years. His circuit took him through at least 41 towns in southwestern Connecticut and southeastern New York, sleeping in caves, accepting food from townspeople, and speaking only in grunts and gestures along the way. What remains of the mysterious Leather Man today are the news clippings and photographs taken by the first-hand witnesses of this captivating individual. The Old Leather Man gathers the best of the early newspaper accounts of the Leather Man, and includes maps of his route, historic photographs of his shelters, the houses he was known to stop at along his way, and of the Leather Man himself. This history tracks the footsteps of the Leather Man and unravels the myths surrounding the man who made Connecticut’s caves his home.

Ebook Edition Note: Six of the 111 illustrations have been redacted.

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Stories in Stone

How Geology Influenced Connecticut History and Culture

Jelle Zeilinga de Boer

In a series of entertaining essays, geoscientist Jelle Zeilinga de Boer describes how early settlers discovered and exploited Connecticut's natural resources. Their successes as well as failures form the very basis of the state's history: Chatham's gold played a role in the acquisition of its Charter, and Middletown's lead helped the colony gain its freedom during the Revolution. Fertile soils in the Central Valley fueled the state's development into an agricultural power house, and iron ores discovered in the western highlands helped trigger its manufacturing eminence. The Statue of Liberty, a quintessential symbol of America, rests on Connecticut's Stony Creek granite. Geology not only shaped the state's physical landscape, but also provided an economic base and played a cultural role by inspiring folklore, paintings, and poems. Illuminated by 50 illustrations and 12 color plates, Stories in Stone describes the marvel of Connecticut's geologic diversity and also recounts the impact of past climates, earthquakes, and meteorites on the lives of the people who made Connecticut their home.

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