Prudence Crandall Collection

Prudence Crandall (1803-1890) was an educator and activist who fought for women's suffrage and the rights of African-Americans. Her attempt to run an integrated school for girls in Canterbury, Connecticut resulted in protests, arrest, and two criminal trials. Although she was acquitted of all charges in 1834, she closed the school and left the state. In 1995 she was named Connecticut's official state heroine.

The Lear Center holds approximately one linear foot of material related to the life of Prudence Crandall. The archive was left to Connecticut College by Helen Earle Gilbert Sellers, who was at work on a biography of Crandall at the time of her death in 1951. There are 23 letters and one manuscript of poems by Crandall, including three letters to the abolitionist Simeon Jocelyn detailing the opposition to her school. Most of the remaining letters are to her husband, Calvin Philleo. There are also nearly three dozen manuscripts of correspondence and business records of Philleo. The remainder of the collection consists of photographs of Crandall, her family members, and their places of residence and Helen Sellers' research materials and correspondence related to her biography.