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Prudence Crandall

Died when: 86 years 147 days
Star Sign: Virgo


Prudence Crandall Prudence Crandall (September 3, 1803 – January 27, 1890) was an American schoolteacher and activist. Crandall is remembered, and is the state heroine of Connecticut, for setting up the first school for black girls ("young Ladies and little Misses of color") in the country. This resulted in her arrest; then violence from townspeople forced her to close the school, and she left Connecticut. However, when she admitted Sarah Harris, a 20-year-old African-American female student in 1832, she had what is considered to be the first integrated classroom in the United States. Parents of the white children began to withdraw them. Rather than ask the African-American student to leave, she decided that if white girls could not attend with the blacks, she would educate blacks. She was arrested and spent a night in jail. Soon the violence of the townspeople forced her to close the school and leave. Much later the Connecticut legislature, with pressure 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.
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