FREE PERFORMANCE – Saturday, September 10th at 1:00 pm
New London, CT – Nationally recognized performing artist and storyteller Tammy Denease will bring the remarkable story of Joan Jackson to life at the Hempsted Houses. Joan Jackson was born into slavery in New London. As an adult, she was freed by her owners, the Fox family around 1703. To pursue her life as a free woman, she had to leave her two very young children Adam and Miriam in slavery with the Fox family. She and her husband John, a free man from the West Indies, started a new free life together only to find out that Joan’s liberty was in question due to a property dispute between two New London families. Joan was put back into the system of New England slavery along with her young children, who had been born free to a free mother. Joan’s husband, John Jackson, worked with his former owner John Rogers to get his wife and family back out of slavery. This task brought John Jackson to Long Island to take Joan and their children back, to Rhode Island to hide them, and to Massachusetts where John brings Joan’s case to court. Come hear the story of the Jackson family, which includes the story of Joan’s eldest son, Adam, an enslaved farmer at the Hempsted House for over 30 years.
This FREE performance starts at 1 p.m. and is open to the public; sponsored by the Chester Kitchings Family Foundation.
About Tammy Denease: An accomplished performing artist/storyteller living in Connecticut, Tammy Denease specializes in bringing the lives of very important, yet “obscured” women in history to life. Tammy Denease was born in Columbus, Mississippi where she spent countless hours with her great-grandmother and grandmother. Her great-grandmother was a former enslaved person who lived to be 125 and her grandmother lived to be a 100. Both were known storytellers, and passed this gift along to their granddaughter. More information about Tammy Denease is available at her web site http://historicalfirsts.org.
About The Hempsted Houses
The 1678 Joshua Hempsted House is the oldest house in New London and is one of New England’s best-documented dwellings. Adjacent to the Joshua Hempsted House is a rare stone house built in 1759 by Nathaniel Hempsted. Both structures survived the 1781 burning of New London and stand today as testaments of 17th and 18th-century daily life. The Hempsted Houses are located at 11 Hempstead St.
About Connecticut Landmarks
Founded in 1936, Connecticut Landmarks is the largest state-wide heritage museum organization in Connecticut. The historic, landmark properties span four centuries of Connecticut history and include: the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem; the Butler-McCook House & Garden and Main Street History Center, Hartford; the Buttolph-Williams House, Wethersfield; the Hempsted Houses, New London; the Isham-Terry House, Hartford; the Nathan Hale Homestead, Coventry; the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, Suffield. Connecticut Landmarks’ mission is to inspire interest and encourage learning about the American past by preserving selected historic properties, collections and stories and presenting programs that meaningfully engage the public and our communities. For more information, please visit www.ctlandmarks.org.