Slavery in the Connecticut Valley.
(Part of Robert H. Romer's website: www.amherst.edu/~rhromer)
Since 2001, I have been doing a considerable amount of research on this topic. I also have given a lot of talks, to various groups, and I give walking tours of the sites in Deerfield that I have identified as places where enslaved African-Americans lived in the mid-1700s. If interested, please get in touch with me. Most of what I have to say is news, even to those of us who have lived in the valley all our lives, and I am happy to tell others what I know. I always give out copies of my map showing where slaves lived on the main street of Deerfield in 1752; you can also get a copy by clicking on the appropriate link below. (And I give talks and walking tours for no charge.)
Click the following link for my map of slavery on the main street of Deerfield, 1752: Slave site map
Information about some of the talks and walks I have given: Talks & Walks (including the talk with slides that I did during Amherst College reunion on June 1, 2007
An article I published in 2005 in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education: "Higher Education and Slavery in Western Massachusetts"
"Slavery & Its Legacy" - A series of six sessions, running from Feb. 16 to April 7, 2005, was presented under the auspices of "Five-College Learning in Retirement". Click on the LIR link for program details (www.5clir.org)
A little of my collected information, including Reverend Jonathan Ashley's 1749 sermon to the Deerfield slaves, a list of known slave-owning ministers from the valley, collected names of enslaved African-Americans who lived in Deerfield from the 1690s until the end of the 18th century: Historical information.
And this is a brief article about my work, my walking tours of the slave sites, etc: Hampshire Gazette article
A flier for the "Talk & Walk" I did at Deerfield on May 11, 2004: Slavery "Talk & Walk" (I did another version of this walk - jointly sponsored by PVMA and PVI - on Oct. 2, 2004.) I have also been giving walking tours of slave sites in old Deerfield to high school classes.
I have a lot of other information that I have collected on this topic, including some xeroxed material that I hand out when I give talks, and in some cases I have written out the essence of my various talks. If interested, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or write me at the Amherst College Physics Department.
Sojourner Truth -- This does not deal with slavery in the valley (which had gradually come to an end by about 1800 but rather with the following century, the 1800s. By the mid-1800s a flourishing black community had arisen in Northampton (specifically in the village of Florence), and Sojourner Truth lived there for some time. I'm now on the Sojourner Truth Committee, though I only joined the committee several years after its major initial effort - commissioning and erecting a lovely statue of Sojourner in a little park in Florence - had been accomplished. But we continue in other areas, e.g., developing curricular materials for schools, holding an annual essay contest for high school seniors (the prize is a modest contribution to the winners' college expeneses), etc. Though I did not create this website, I have become the committee's "webmaster", and I try to keep news of current and forthcoming events more or less up to date.