Blacks in Bennington County: Lucy Prince of Sunderland, and her Family

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The Dorset Historical Society’s Third-Thursday Lunch-Lecture on April 18th will feature Avis Hayden discussing Lucy Terry Prince.

Lucy Terry Prince was born in Africa and brought to the colonies as a slave when she was five years old.  When she was 70 years old she moved to Sunderland, Vermont with some of her children. At that time only 0.2% of the people of Bennington County were black.  She struggled to obtain land that she felt was rightfully hers. Eventually many of the townspeople came to accept this loquacious black woman, who is best known as America’s first African-American poet.  This presentation will cover Lucy’s years in Sunderland, her fight to keep her land, and stories about her children and grandchildren.

Avis Hayden has been a hobby genealogist since 1990.  After retiring from her career in health care, she delved deeper into that field, completing a program in Genealogical Research from Boston University in 2016.  She has published five research articles and has presented at the New England Historical and Genealogical Conference. She volunteers at the Bennington Museum Research Library and with the Russell Collection of Vermontiana.

DHS’s TTLLs begin at noon and last about an hour. Attendees are invited to bring some lunch; desserts and drinks will be provided. The event is free, open to all and handicapped accessible. The Dorset Historical Society’s Bley House Museum is located on Route 30 at Kent Hill Road. For more information, see or call (802) 867-0331.

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