Friday, June 09, 2006

venture smith called connecticut his home

(of course he was stolen away from his REAL home at the age of seven)

Scientists, historians hope clues put face on legend of slave
By Eileen Mcnamara, The Day June 8, 2006
EAST HADDAM, Conn. --Kidnapped from his African homeland at age 7 and sold into slavery in America, Venture Smith would grow into a man of mythically large proportions. He won his freedom and became a successful 18th-century businessman so revered by this river town that its denizens to this day tend his grave.
While state and local historians know Smith's story well, they want to make it as well-known to the rest of the world as the story of Amistad and its hero, Cinque. To do that, they have undertaken an ambitious, international research project that will call on the expertise of scientists, archaeologists, historians and human rights activists.
"This is the story of the human spirit prevailing over evil," said David Richardson, a British historian taking part in the project. "It is a legacy of hope and optimism."
In July, scientists and historians will open Smith's grave in the First United Congregational Church's cemetery and remove his remains in an effort to bring Smith, metaphorically, back to life.
In doing so, they hope to provide a human face to represent the millions of anonymous Africans forced to come here as slaves in the country's early years. They also hope Smith's story will advance the country's dialogue on American race relations and broaden Connecticut's understanding of its role in the slave trade.......

........His name came from various sources. Venture was the name his first owner gave him, because his purchase represented a business venture. He took the last name of the family that gave him his freedom............


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