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Self-Evident TruthsContesting Equal Rights from the Revolution to the Civil War$
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Richard D. Brown

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197112

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197112.001.0001

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People of Color and Equal Rights

People of Color and Equal Rights

New England Cases

(p.139) Five People of Color and Equal Rights
Self-Evident Truths

Richard D. Brown

Yale University Press

In New England, if anywhere, equal rights might have included people of color. Free blacks comprised a small fraction of the population, and slave uprisings posed no threat. Yet in this region, as in others, racism prevailed. Discrimination in public business, including voting and education, was commonplace. But in criminal trials procedural safeguards and professional standards limited the effects of prejudice. Public opinion was not so restrained. And in rural New England vigilantes shut down New Hampshire’s racially integrated Noyes Academy and Prudence Crandall’s school for black girls in Connecticut. Connecticut banned schools like Crandall’s, she was jailed briefly, and the state’s supreme court denied equal rights for blacks, setting a precedent for the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott ruling.

Keywords:   African Americans, free blacks, Prudence Crandall, Calvin Goddard, David Daggett, Hannah Ocuish, Indians, Native Americans, New Jersey, capital punishment

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