Signature Projects

Early America Day

For six weeks at the start of the school year, every Foote 7th grader researches, organizes, writes, and practices their presentation skills in preparation for Early America Day. In December they took their projects to the New Haven Museum, where the students brought historical figures to life, interacting with visitors and “showing what they know.” 

Student presentations

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“When you are reading a newspaper article, do you ever wonder if there is a limit to what the author is allowed to write? During the early days of Colonial America, there were rules for what sort of content could be published in newspapers.”

Sabine (from a presentation on John Peter Zenger and freedom of the press)

Photos

Early America Day 2023

 

The Witness Stones Project

“The agency of resistance that enslaved and free African Americans took part in still has an effect on our country today — shaping our understanding of the institution of slavery in the United States.”

Ari, seventh grade

Witness Stone Reflections 2023

Witness Stones Project 2023
Witness Stones Project ’23

By Claire Driver ’25

We will decide how the next part of American history will look. Will it be bright, created by the learned, or will the strong allow the cowardly to seize control? Will we seek true equality, or will we point to others and say that they’re bad because they’re "different?"

Read More about Righting a Wrong

Did You Know?

  • Connecticut was the second state to legally acknowledge slavery as an institution in 1650, and it fully assimilated into Connecticut as an accepted form of labor in 1680.
  • For at least 100 years (from about 1749–1856 or so) free and enslaved black people in Connecticut had a custom of electing a leader; a man named Hercules, who lived in New London, may have been the first Black governor.
  • Connecticut was one of the last states to enact a gradual emancipation policy, in 1784.
  • Despite being a smaller state, Connecticut had the most enslaved people in New England.
  • Slavery was not outlawed in Connecticut until 1848. 
  • Even after Connecticut abolished slavery, they still profited majorly from the imported goods from the South.

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Ceremony Photos

The photos below were taken by Zachary Brenner ’25, Eric Silva ’25, and Kameron Shahid ’25.

Witness Stones Project 2023

“It’s strange to sometimes believe that everywhere I walk, the ground under my feet has seen so much suffering. I know now that Nean’s story will stay with me because I can now tell anyone I met about his life.”

Will, seventh grade

Slavery is a dark part of our history. Despite the myriad difficulties with doing so, it is critical that we thoughtfully shine light on our dark moments, so that we can grow from a clearer view of both our past and present. Our hope is that the work we do here at Foote — both with the Witness Stones Project and beyond it — helps to shape a more just and equitable future.