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Aug 30, 2022

Connecticut Explored is celebrating its 20th anniversary with “20 for 20: Innovation in Connecticut History,” a series of articles, podcasts, and public programs that highlight 20 "Game Changers" in the field of Connecticut history. The insights and ideas we gather through this five-minute survey will help individuals and organizations who are committed to keeping Connecticut history vibrant and relevant. Thank you for your time!   Visit:


The Speedwell arrived in New London on July 17, 1761, after a journey of several months from Western Africa to the Americas. The boat departed with 95 enslaved persons. Only 74 survived the journey.

The captain of the Speedwell, Timothy Miller, sailed up the Connecticut River to Middletown after a few days in New London. Although the ship’s records don’t show where the Africans aboard the Speedwell ended up, the probate record of Normand Morison, a Hartford physician who owned 7/16th of the Speedwell, shows 21 enslaved West Africans were placed on his farm in Bolton, CT.  Morison died in 1761 and the fate of the people on the Bolton farm is not yet known. 

In this episode, Kathy Hermes, Lonnie Braxton, and Tom Schuch discuss Morison and the Speedwell, the Black Heritage Trail and its significance, and the impact of the slave trade on Connecticut and its trading networks.


This episode of Grating the Nutmeg was produced by Dr. Kathy Hermes and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan of High Wattage Media

Photo credit: Tom Schuch