The First Two Years: Honoring a Mother and Daughter

During the first year of the Witness Stones Project, Country School 8th Graders focused on a woman named Lettuce, who was enslaved and later emancipated by the pastor of the First Congregational Church in what is now Madison. They had to wrestle with the fact that the archival evidence was slim, and yet they were able to reconstruct a narrative and learn something about who Lettuce was as a person. As one student wrote in his poem, The Stone, referring to the brass Witness Stones marker being installed in Lettuce’s honor, “It is just a stone, but it carries the weight of a person.” His and other student writing can be found in the online book Searching for Lettuce.

During the second year of Witness Stones, students focused their efforts on Lettuce’s mother, Tamar, whose journey began in or around 1744 in western Africa and ended in Madison, where, like her daughter, she was enslaved and eventually emancipated. Their efforts are recounted in Searching for Tamar, Finding Ourselves (book coming soon). Watch the video of their Witness Stones installation ceremony, featuring student poetry recitations, the reading of Tamar’s biography, a keynote speech by Witness Stones Project Co-chair Pat Wilson Pheanious, who learned about the history of her enslaved ancestors through student research, music, and more. Their research and writing is reflected in the small book, Searching for Tamar: Finding Ourselves.
341 Opening Hill Road, Madison, CT 06443
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Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.