CCT: PC - Home

{Prudence Crandall Museum} Prudence Crandall Museum

National Historic Landmark 

State Archaeological Preserve
First academy in New England for African-American women
Home and school of Connecticut's State Heroine
{Join us on Facebook - Prudence Crandall Museum}


{Prudence Crandall} {Sarah Harris Fayerweather} Prudence Crandall (1803-1890) opened an academy on the Canterbury Green in 1831 to educate daughters of wealthy local families. The school was extremely successful until the following fall when she admitted Sarah Harris, a 20-year-old black woman. Sarah had hoped to become a teacher with the help of the education the academy could provide. Reflecting the attitudes of the times, Sarah's admittance to the academy led parents to withdraw their daughters.

Miss Crandall made contacts throughout the northeast's free black communities to attract young black women students. They came from as far away as Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia. The State responded by passing the "Black Law" which made it illegal for Miss Crandall to operate her school. Miss Crandall was arrested, spent a night in jail, and faced three court trials. The case was dismissed in July of 1834. Two months later a mob attacked the school, forcing Miss Crandall to close. The courage shown by Miss Crandall, our State's official heroine, features prominently in civil rights history. The "Black Law" was repealed in 1838.

The museum includes period rooms, changing exhibits, a small research library (available by appointment for in-house study), and a gift shop. The museum's first floor is fully accessible.
{Elizabeth Bustill}

Reproduction period dress sewn by Museum Guide Lisa Joseph

This dress will be displayed as part of the Museum's new hands-on exhibit interpreting the life of Julia Williams, one of Prudence Crandall's African-American students from Boston. In addition to the costume, the exhibit will include a reproduction 19th century trunk fabricated by students from Ella Grasso Technical School in Groton, and reproduction items representative of what a 19th century student might have brought with them to Crandall's boarding school. These items have been purchased with funds provided by Friends of the Prudence Crandall Museum, Inc.

Connecticut Public Television's series Connecticut's Cultural Treasures features the Prudence Crandall Museum as one of the 50 most notable cultural resources in the state.

Click here to watch the 6-minute program. 


{Join us on Facebook - Prudence Crandall Museum}
1 South Canterbury Road, Canterbury, CT 06331  ~  ~  860-546-7800