What if you ran a female boarding school in Connecticut in the early 1830s and a young black woman applied for admission? Would you admit her?

Prudence Crandall took a risk and did.

Controversy erupted as the town protested her decision. Other students withdrew and Prudence faced closing the doors completely. Instead, she decided to limit admission solely to young black women and vowed to work “for the remaining part of my life to benefit the people of color.”

This quiet Quaker woman found herself under further attack when the state passed a new law two months later prohibiting any school from having out-of-state African-American students unless it had the town’s permission. (Hmm. You think that new law was written with a specific target in mind?)

Prudence was arrested and spent a night in jail for violating the law. Her case wound it’s way through the court system and she was eventually cleared and the law changed.

While she was forced to close the school after violent mob attacks destroyed the building, her legacy lives on.

What about you? Would you have taken the risk?

Friday Focus – Prudence Crandall
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3 thoughts on “Friday Focus – Prudence Crandall

  • February 26, 2010 at 9:50 am

    >What a VERY cool story, Candee! I love hearing about strong women who stood for what they believed! It gives me such encouragement!

  • February 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    >I would like to think based on today's time, yes, but then again back then things were so much more different with regards to the freedoms woman could have.

    I personally commend her and think she did the right thing.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  • February 26, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    >We take so many things for granted today that required courage. Thanks for bringing this story to light.

    Susan :)

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