“The further we delved into the Amistad Story, we realized that there were many stories in Connecticut
that would reveal how the struggle against slavery, for freedom and equality fashioned the history of
Connecticut and the United States. There was little appreciation of the contributions of African
Americans to that history. Schools, textbooks, ignored this essential ingredient of US history.
We decided to call for the creation of a Connecticut Freedom Trail that would uncover the sites and
persons, Black and White, that contributed to that struggle. The legacy of slavery is institutionalized
racism that, sadly, permeates our society. A Freedom Trail would serve as an educational tool to combat
We wrote to the Culture and Tourism Agency about the idea. We visited their offices in Rocky Hill. There
was little interest. We wrote to then Governor Lowell Weicker but did not receive a response.
Soon thereafter we organized a delegation to meet with Governor Weicker about assisting in the
building of the vessel, The Amistad, I took advanatge of the moment to inquire about the Freedom Trail.
To my surprise, he said ”I thought that was all taken care of”. He turned to his staff who, sheepishly, did
Later, a State employee, who was sympathetic to the idea, informed me that it was possible to attend the
State Tourism Council meeting to present the idea. The Council opened its meeting with an opportunity
for the public. I attended the next meeting. The Chairman asked me to meet with a Tourist Agency staff. I met with her behind closed doors, she advised that I go to the Legislature.
I approached our Senator, Senator Toni N. Harp, who enthusiastically endorsed the idea and submitted
the legislation that established the State of Connecticut Freedom Trail and September Freedom Trail
-Alfred L. Marder, President, Amistad Committee, Inc.