Black & Native Heritage Talcott St. Church Timeline
Rev. James Pennington The Amistad Trial
The Underground Railroad Augustus Washington
James Mars Rebecca Primus
The Eastons Ann Plato
John Hooker What’s Next


Grave of James Mars, Norwalk, CT

Born on March 3rd, 1790, James Mars was formerly Enslaved in Connecticut, a Deacon at Talcott Street Church, and an Author.

Mars authored his own story, “Life of James Mars” which sold widely after publication in 1864.

In his autobiography, James tells the harrowing story of his family’s escape from their owner, a pastor in northwest Connecticut who intended to move south and take his “property” with him.

Mars eventually worked to purchase his own freedom.

Mars played an important role in the African American enfranchisement and temperance movements and wrote his story to remind the people of 1864 that slavery was a reality in Connecticut not twenty years before.

During the 1830s, James worked in a dry goods store in Hartford and also serve as a Deacon at the Talcott Street Congregational Church.

Connecticut practiced gradual emancipation from 1784 to 1848, when it was finally abolished.

In 1864, Mars returned to Norfolk, Connecticut where he died in 1880. His grave can be found there today.