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Prudence Crandall

Civil rights pioneer

Died when: 86 years 147 days (1036 months)
Star Sign: Virgo


Prudence Crandall

Prudence Crandall (September 3, 1803 – January 27, 1890) was an American schoolteacher and activist.She ran the first school for black girls ("young Ladies and little Misses of color") in the United States, located in Canterbury, Connecticut.

When Crandall admitted Sarah Harris, a 20-year-old African-American female student in 1832 to her school, she had what is considered the first integrated classroom in the United States.

Parents of the white children began to withdraw them.Prudence was a "very obstinate girl", according to her brother Reuben.

Rather than ask the African-American student to leave, she decided that if white girls would not attend with the black students, she would educate black girls.

She was arrested and spent a night in jail.Soon the violence of the townspeople forced her to close the school.

She left Connecticut and never lived there again.Much later the Connecticut legislature, with lobbying from Mark Twain, a resident of Hartford, passed a resolution honoring Crandall and providing her with a pension.

Twain offered to buy her former Canterbury home for her retirement, but she declined.She died a few years later, in 1890.

In 1995 the Connecticut General Assembly named her the Official Heroine of Connecticut.

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