THE TALCOTT STREET CHURCH

The first Black church and school for Black children in Hartford

Talcott Street Congregational Church and School was located on the corner of Talcott and Market Streets. The Talcott Street Church opened its doors in reaction to the treatment of black Connecticut residents, suffered at the hands of white parishioners. One example of this treatment was the enforcement of separation in their church by what they called the “negro pews,” in which black residents were made to sit in the rafters or back of the church away from white worshipers. Through such indignities the existence of the Talcott Street Church was inspired.

Led by nationally prominent activists Rev. James W. C. Pennington and Hosea Easton, Talcott Street Church inspired creative and educational leaders like Ann Plato, Augustus Washington, and James Mars. Under the spire of such a tiny monolith, these black leaders helped advance such historical events as the abolition movement and the Underground Railroad, which contributed to the liberation of the black community. There was also the Amistad Trial, in which the church was pivotal in liberating captives and returning them home.

Not only was the Talcott street church a liberation of the body, but also of the mind, creating the first school in Hartford for Talcott Street Church Plaque Stoneyoung black children. The church was impacted by figures like Ann Plato, a sensational poet who would become the second African American woman to publish a book of poetry and the first African American to publish a series of essays.

The Talcott Street church has a remarkable history—a history which should etch itself into the hearts and minds of all Americans.

Second Great Awakening

Religious Movement Related to the Establishment of Talcott Street Church

The Second Great Revival was a spiritual period lasting from 1790 to 1840. This movement spread religion through gatherings and emotional testimonies. It started in Cain Ridge, Kentucky, where the debate of slavery and the Bible heated the conversation of religious practice, then headed up north and out west. Talcott Street Church and other black churches were built during this period thanks to its close ties with abolition and black resistance.

Talcott Street Church has been called many names over the years. Talcott Street Congregational Church is the most recognizable name first coined in 1860.

An evolving Timeline

2022 The Nutmeg Pulpit by Frank Mitchell

2022- Permanent exhibit launches onsite at Capital: The Nutmeg Pulpit (main floor lobby) designed by Frank Mitchell

1991 art installation by Mel Chin

1991- Artist Mel Chin creates a temporary site-specific installation commemorating the church

present-day historic site

1954 to Present- known as Faith Congregational Church located on 2030 Main Street, Hartford, CT

1906- Talcott Street Congregational Church (New Building)

1860- known as Talcott Street Congregational Church

1852- known as Fifth Congregational Church

1839- known as First Hartford Colored Congregational Church

1826- Begins as African Religious Society

 

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