In 1832 Prudence Crandall admitted Sarah Harris as the first African American student at a girls’ school in Connecticut.
White parents objected and withdrew their daughters from Crandall’s classes.
When Crandall then turned her school into a boarding school for African American girls, the townspeople angrily protested. Shopkeepers refused to sell food to the school, and some local residents threw stones at the school windows and even at the students.
Connecticut then passed a “black law,” forbidding anyone to teach African Americans from outside the state. When Crandall refused to obey this law, she was jailed.
People all over the country cried out against this injustice.
Crandall won her case, but the violent attacks on her school did not stop. She had to close it in September 1834.