|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|
The Reverend James Pennington
Activist, Reverend, Writer, and Abolitionist
The Reverend James W.C. Pennington was born in 1807. Born a slave in Maryland to Tighlin Frisby after Frisby’s father passed away, he and his siblings and mother lived on one plantation and his father, Basil, on another. He had witnessed brutal beatings both on his father and other slaves.
On October 22, 1827, Pennington escaped to freedom along the Underground Railroad, a harrowing journey in which he was captured more than once before finally making it to Pennsylvania.
After taking shelter with a Quaker farmer who gave Pennington his first reading lessons, he made his journey up north and advanced quickly in his ability to read, write, and speak of God’s message.
Soon after becoming a pastor, he was called on to officiate the wedding of Frederick and Anna Douglass. He later attended Yale Divinity School for four years as a non-matriculated student, the first black man to attend.
Pennington served as Reverend at Talcott Street Church from 1840-1847, 1853, 1856-1857, becoming well-known in the community and abroad, preaching in various places in the United States and Europe.
Pennington wrote his biography, The Fugitive Blacksmith, Or Events in the History of James W.C. Pennington, in 1849.