To the Editor:

The New Milford Historical Society & Museum is presenting several small exhibits about New Milford history in its newly created New Milford Room.

In addition, the museum presented an Oct. 13 program about an African-American man, Fortune, who had been enslaved in Waterbury during the 17th century.

Seeing honorable members of the historical society and local members of the community at the Oct. 13 gathering could not have been more positive, noble and dignified.

I would like to thank the members for presenting an exhibit that shows a marvelous introduction of the African-American and Indian communities, with picture documentation, and noting the contributions they have made in the New Milford community.

It was also a privilege to speak about Fortune two centuries after his death.

Fortune's bones had been preserved by the man who had enslaved him, a local doctor, Dr. Preserve Porter, a bone setter.

Porter gave the scientific names for each bone, thus using Fortune's body for medical science.

The bones remained in the doctor's family for four more generations until they were given to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury.

Fortune's bones were used to educate the public about his mistreatment as a slave.

Fortune was laid to rest Sept. 12, 2013, at Riverside Cemetery in Waterbury.

I feel so special being part of this community.

Fran Smith

New Milford