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Williams, Austin F., Carriagehouse and House

Farmington, Connecticut
County of Hartford.
National Register Number: 98001190
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Domestic - single dwelling.
Congressional District: CT-6 Certified Local Government: NO

Statement of Significance (as of designation - August 6, 1998):
Austin F. Williams, a leading abolitionist of his day, established a station on the Underground Railroad here, and helped make Farmington a center of abolition activity in the Northeast. The property's particular significance derives from its association with the celebrated AMISTAD affair of 1839-1841. In a complex legal case arising from a slave revolt on the high seas in 1839, slavery as an institution was challenged for the first time in the U.S. Supreme Court. In March 1841, members of the Mende tribe of West Africa who had participated in the revolt were released from prison, and housed in quarters that Williams provided. They remained in their temporary domicile, now incorporated in the carriagehouse, until they were returned to their homeland in November 1841. (See First Church of Christ)

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