WHS Virtual Summer Program 2020: Intro to Black History in Wethersfield

Taped last October (2019) during an indoor presentation of Wethersfield Historical Society’s Lantern Light Tours, Charles Floyd’s impassioned portrayal of Freeman Quash Gomer offers a brief glimpse into the trials, tribulations, and triumphs lived by people of color in eighteenth century Wethersfield.

From this website’s own Articles from the Community section, “In 1766 Quash Gomer purchased his freedom for 25 pounds from John Smith. On November 8, 1766, Smith “fully, freely and clearly [certified] that Quash Gomer is a free Negro man, and has good, right, power, and authority to act and transact for himself, to sue and be sued, charge and discharge for himself, to do and carry on any manner of trade or business fully and clearly as tho’ he never was a slave or servant.” Gomer’s gravestone (pictured at the top left of this page) has been restored to the proud symbol of the community’s esteem for him it once was. Located in the Ancient Burying Ground, the now-legible text reads “In Memory of Quash Gomer: a Native of Angola in Africa, brought from there in 1748, & died June 6th 1799. Aged 68 years.”

This content was made possible in part by a grant from the Robert Allan Keeney Memorial  Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the generosity of our members.

(Please note that you can watch the video below full-screen after  starting the video by clicking the icon in the bottom right corner of the player’s screen).


The next activity asks a little more from you physically than just watching a video. It’s the Introduction to Black History in Wethersfield Scavenger Hunt.

Directions:  At a 1998 celebration of Black pioneers in the medical field, this Wethersfield High School graduate was recognized for becoming Hartford’s first Black army nurse during World War II. Search for clues in the following places in Wethersfield to decode the name of this nurse. Click here for your own PDF copy of the scavenger hunt.  You can download and print it or work from your mobile device. Good luck!

Learn More: What follows are a series of links and recommendations to curated sources for additional detailed information on Connecticut Black History.



The Arts:

Civil Rights Movement:

Civil War Era:




20th Century:

Voting Rights: