20 Facts About Prudence Crandall


Prudence Crandall was an American schoolteacher and activist.


Prudence Crandall ran the first school for black girls in the United States, located in Canterbury, Connecticut.


When Crandall admitted Sarah Harris, a 20-year-old African-American female student in 1832 to her school, she had what is considered the first integrated classroom in the United States.


Prudence Crandall was a "very obstinate girl", according to her brother Reuben.


Prudence Crandall was arrested and spent a night in jail.


Much later the Connecticut legislature, with lobbying from Mark Twain, a resident of Hartford, passed a resolution honoring Prudence Crandall and providing her with a pension.


Prudence Crandall was born on September 3,1803, to Pardon and Esther Carpenter Crandall, a Quaker couple who lived in Carpenter's Mills, Rhode Island.

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In 1831 she purchased the Elisha Payne house, with her sister Almira Prudence Crandall, to establish the Canterbury Female Boarding School, at the request of Canterbury's aristocratic residents, to educate young girls in the town.


Prudence Crandall discovered the problems that plagued black people through the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, which she learned of through her housekeeper, "a young black lady", whose fiance was the son of the paper's local agent.


Prudence Crandall then admitted the girl, establishing the first integrated school in the United States.


Prominent townspeople objected and placed pressure on Prudence Crandall to dismiss Harris from the school, but she refused.


Prudence Crandall was faced with great local opposition, and her detractors had no plans to back down.


Prudence Crandall was involved in the women's suffrage movement and ran a school in LaSalle County, Illinois.


Prudence Crandall separated from Philleo in 1842 after his "deteriorating physical and mental health" led him to be abusive.


Prudence Crandall died in Kansas on January 28,1890, at the age of 86.


Prudence Crandall's younger brother Reuben was a physician and a botany expert.


Prudence Crandall was no abolitionist and was opposed to Prudence's efforts to educate African-American girls, and told this to her chief enemy Judson, when the latter gave him a ride.


Prudence Crandall moved with her husband Reverend Calvin Philleo to Illinois.


Prudence Crandall taught throughout her long life and was an outspoken champion for equality of education and the rights of women.


Prudence Crandall purchased a house in Elk Falls where she died January 27,1890.