Revolutionary War-era blacks to be honored
Updated 7:52 am, Thursday, May 12, 2011
African-Americans who lived in New Milford and Kent and fought in the Revolutionary War may be immortalized for their service to the fledgling United States.
A National Liberty Memorial has been proposed by Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Charles Grassely of Iowa to honor between 5,000 and 10,000 black patriots of the American Revolution.
Some 52 of those patriots came from 13 towns in Litchfield County. Ten were from New Milford and five hailed from Kent.
The project originated in Plainville. Maurice Barboza contacted New Milford requesting "a resolution acknowledging these trailblazers."
Cited from Kent were Coll, Call and Cuff Freeman; Cuff Comstalk; and Prime Hubbell.
The memorial would be citizen funded and sit between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The memorial was first proposed in 1988 by Lena Santos Ferguson of Plainville under the Reagan administration.
"I thought it was about time," Mayor Murphy said about recognizing the black patriots. "It is a privilege to add New Milford's support."
She added it is "sad" so many names have been lost and a gap of some 5,000 patriots exists in historic annals.
"It's sad to think it's unknown if there was 5,000 or 10,000," Ms. Murphy said.
First Selectman Bruce Adams of Kent said his town has not been contacted regarding the memorial.
"I'm sure we'd be supportive," Mr. Adams said. "But we've heard nothing about it."