Nombre de messages : 8252
Localisation : Canada
Opinion politique : Indépendance totale
Loisirs : Arts et Musique, Pale Ayisien
Date d'inscription : 02/03/2007
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Jeu de rôle: Maestro
|Sujet: Premye anbasadè nwa meriken yo voye an Ayiti an 1869 Dim 8 Fév 2009 - 14:22|| |
Historians document nation’s 1st black envoy
Sunday, February 8, 2009 6:55 AM EST
By Patricia Villers, Register Staff
Three local historians recently published a biography of Connecticut native Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett, a grandson of slaves who became the first black ambassador.
Bassett was born in Litchfield in 1833, but grew up in Derby.
Mary J. Mycek of Derby, Marian K. O’Keefe of Seymour and Shelton Intermediate School housemaster Carolyn B. Ivanoff of Seymour collaborated last year on the 24-page booklet, “Ebenezer D. Bassett, 1836-1908.” The book was published by Creative Edge in Woodbridge.
The women formed the Valley Historical Research Committee and got $2,500 in grants from several sources to fund the project: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Valley Neighborhood Grant Program, Peoples United Bank, The Naugatuck Savings Bank Foundation and The John and Carrie Santangelo Foundation.
“We timed (the publication) to coincide with the centennial of Bassett’s death,” said Ivanoff, a former Shelton High School history teacher.
Ivanoff put together instructional materials in a companion piece for educators.
The books, along with a CD, have been distributed to all Valley public and parochial schools, and local libraries, O’Keefe said. A Web page for the project was established at http://ebassett.wikispaces.com.
The authors hope the book will be used in classrooms during discussions about Black History Month, which is February.
President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Bassett as minister resident and consul general to Haiti in 1869, making Bassett the first black diplomat in U.S. history. He was 36 at the time.
Mycek, a retired professor, said Bassett was a pioneer black educator who was committed to education and to public service.
As a young man Bassett was highly regarded by prominent Derby citizens who saw his potential. Bassett worked for Ambrose Beardsley, a physician who also was Derby’s town historian.
Mycek pointed out a page in the book that contains a letter written by Frederick Douglass, one of the most celebrated black Americans of the day. Douglass was an abolitionist, orator, writer and suffragist.
The 1869 letter congratulates Bassett on being named the first black “minister resident” and consul general to Haiti. The term ambassador was not used until 1893. Bassett served in the position.
Mycek said it was notable to have someone as celebrated as Douglass congratulating Bassett.
The women said Bassett found the conditions in Haiti deplorable; the country was in the midst of civil war. Mycek said Bassettsaved many Haitians by giving them refuge at the consulate.
The historians agreed a quote from Bassett sheds light on his humanity: “My success in life I owe greatly to that American sense of fairness which was tended me in old Derby, and which exact that every man whether white or black shall have a fair chance to run his race in life and make the most of himself.”
O’Keefe said she got the idea for a booklet about Bassett when she was curator at the Derby Historical Society in 2004 after getting an inquiry about his life.
Two years later she was contacted by Christopher Teal, a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, who was writing a book about Bassett. Teal’s book, “Hero of Hispaniola,” was published in July 2008. O‘Keefe and Teal exchanged research materials.
Bassett died in 1908 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was buried in Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven.
Patricia Villers can be reached at email@example.com.
© 2009 nhregister.com, a Journal Register Property
Nombre de messages : 17232
Localisation : USA
Loisirs : Histoire
Date d'inscription : 24/08/2006
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Jeu de rôle: Le patriote
|Sujet: Re: Premye anbasadè nwa meriken yo voye an Ayiti an 1869 Dim 8 Fév 2009 - 17:03|| |
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