Connecticut Newspaper Admits to Profiting From Slave Ads

July 06, 2000


Finally, we’re going to revisit the issue of slavery and who profited from it. Over the past several months, Democracy Now has covered the issue of reparations to African Americans. We’ve also looked at the DeWolfes of Rhode Island, the biggest slaveholding family in the Northeast. And we’ve reported on the Aetna Insurance Company, and the apology they made this year for insuring slaves.

Well, on July 4th, the Hartford Courant ran a front-page story admitting its own complicity in the slave trade. The Connecticut paper acknowledged that in the 1700s and 1800s, it published ads for the sale of slaves and recapture of runaways. And Courant publishers, including Thomas Green, who founded the paper in 1764, acted as slave brokers. The newspaper, which is the nation’s longest continuously published daily, said it felt compelled to apologize for their role in that chapter in history.


  • Lou Golden, Deputy Publisher, Hartford Courant.
  • Ira Berlin, Professor of History, University of Maryland, and author of ??Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America.
  • Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, a New York activist who earlier this year urged Aetna to apologize and pay reparations for its role in slavery.