Many Fairfield County slave owners were proud of their perceived kind treatment of their slaves compared to the harsh cruelties inflicted upon plantation slaves in the South and the West Indies. They would have agreed with the Reverend Timothy Dwight, minister of the First Congregational Church in Greenfield Hill, a parish of the town of Fairfield, who wrote in his poem, Greenfield Hill, "that here the slave is kindly fed, clad, and treated [and] slides on, thro life, with more than common glee." Dwight frankly acknowledged the presence of slavery in Fairfield and his written words--coming from a respected minister--upheld the paternalistic notion that slaves were contented with their place in the household and with their station in life. Indeed, by bringing blacks from "heathen" Africa to live in Christian New England, slave owners were doing no less than their Christian duty. Click here to read more.
Image: Timothy Dwight, Greenfield Hill: A Poem in Seven Parts (New York: 1794). Courtesy Fairfield Historical Society, Fairfield, Connecticut.