Honoring the Silent: Documenting African American & Native American History in Connecticut – Virtual Lecture, Feb. 18

In honor of Black History Month, the Norwalk Historical Society is pleased to host the virtual lecture, “Honoring the Silent: Documenting African American & Native American History in Connecticut”, on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. The lecture will be given by Dennis Culliton, Founder and Executive Director of the Witness Stones Project and Dr. Katherine A. Hermes of “Uncovering Their History: Africans, African Americans and Native Americans in Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground, 1640 – 1815”. Q & A will follow the lecture.

This virtual event is free but registration is required. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/honoring-the-silent-documenting-african-american-native-american-history-tickets-138310752183 

Help the Norwalk Historical Society continue its community programming with a donation: https://norwalkhistoricalsociety.org/join-donate/.

Explore the Witness Stones Project with Founder and Executive Director, Dennis Culliton. In less than four years, 11 schools, and over 2,000 students have engaged in the Witness Stones curriculum, learning about the history of slavery in the North. They use the Five Themes of Slavery as a lens to analyze and extract biographical information about the African and African Americans who were so much a part of colonial Connecticut. The mission of the Witness Stones Project is through research, education, and civic engagement they aim to restore the history and honor the humanity and contributions of enslaved individuals who helped build our communities.

Learn about “Uncovering Their History: Africans, African Americans and Native Americans in Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground, 1640-1815”, a project commissioned by the Ancient Burying Ground Association to find the names and information about the people of African and Native descent buried in Hartford’s oldest cemetery.  Dr. Hermes will explain how a dedicated group of professors, a librarian, students and history alumni from CCSU built an interactive website with a downloadable database, profiles, several narratives, Ancestry.com family trees, and RelationshipTreesTM detailing more than 500 lives and deaths.  She will discuss a few of the most interesting stories and demonstrate how to use the website.

About Dennis Culliton: He entered the adult world joining the Marines before attending college at UMass studying Anthropology and Economics. From there he became a contract negotiator in the federal government before attending Quinnipiac University graduating with a MAT in History. He spent a quarter century of teaching history in public schools. The Witness Stones Project started in 2017 when Doug Nygren, after hearing Dennis speak about the enslaved in Guilford, CT, shared with him the memorialization of Jews in Berlin and Central Europe through the Stolpersteine Project.  Dennis developed a way to use his own research, heavy with primary documents, to empower his students to tell the stories of those who were enslaved in Guilford and beyond. The project has now spread to over a dozen communities in three Northeastern states, reaching more than 2,000 students.  https://witnessstonesproject.org/

About Dr. Hermes: Dr. Katherine A. Hermes, J.D., Ph.D., teaches at Central Connecticut State University in the History Department Her courses include Anglo-American legal history and Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands, as well as others on Early America and digital history. She is the co-author with Alexandra Maravel of several articles and book chapters on Native American history in New England and the author of book chapters on Native legal history. She is the director of the “Uncovering Their History” project which documented Native and African burials in Hartford’s ancient burying ground. Her work can be accessed at https://ccsu.academia.edu/KatherineHermes

For more information on the Norwalk Historical Society visit www.norwalkhistoricalsociety.org, e-mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 203-846-0525. The Norwalk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Image Credit: Cora Marshall & Witness Stones Project


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