Au­thor to dis­cuss the Ly­man fam­ily in up­com­ing pro­gram

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - COMMUNITY -

MID­DLE­TOWN >> Mem­bers of the Ly­man fam­ily of Mid­dle­field were early and out­spo­ken ad­vo­cates for abol­ish­ing slav­ery in the United States, risk­ing con­tro­versy and even phys­i­cal dan­ger. Be­gin­ning in the 1830s, Wil­liam Ly­man led the fam­ily’s abo­li­tion­ist ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing as­sist­ing fugi­tive slaves on their jour­ney to free­dom via the clandestine, il­le­gal Un­der­ground Rail­road. In­de­pen­dent his­to­rian and au­thor Diana Ross McCain will de­scribe the Ly­mans’ coura­geous par­tic­i­pa­tion in the move­ment to end slav­ery in Amer­ica, and the per­ils they and oth­ers in the North faced for sup­port­ing that cause, in her talk “’This Thing You Call Law, We Will Not Obey’”: The Ly­mans of Mid­dle­field, Ar­dent Abo­li­tion­ists and Un­der­ground Rail­road Ac­tivists,” spon­sored by the Mid­dle­sex County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety on Thurs­day, April 27 at 7 p.m., at the Se­nior and Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, 61 Du­rant Ter­race, Mid­dle­town.

McCain’s talk will be based on re­search she con­ducted for her his­tor­i­cal novel about the Ly­man fam­ily, Thy Chil­dren’s Chil­dren: A Novel Based on the True Story of Five Gen­er­a­tions of a New Eng­land Grass­roots Dy­nasty. Thy Chil­dren’s Chil­dren is a fact-based fic­tional chron­i­cle of the Ly­man fam­ily from 1741, when they set­tled in Mid­dle­field, un­til 1871, dur­ing which time they were in­volved not only in the abo­li­tion cause, but in the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion, the tem­per­ance move­ment, and the ad­vent of man­u­fac­tur­ing and rail trans­porta­tion in Con­necti­cut. Con­necti­cut State His­to­rian Dr. Wal­ter Wood­ward has praised Thy Chil­dren’s Chil­dren as “the story of a real fam­ily in the thick of Con­necti­cut and Amer­i­can his­tory for more than a cen­tury, told in a novel that ac­cu­rately por­trays the past and is also a great read.” Copies of Thy Chil­dren’s Chil­dren will be avail­able for pur­chase and in­scrip­tion fol­low­ing the pro­gram.

The Ly­man farm de­vel­oped into to­day’s Ly­man Or­chards, an 1,100-acre agri­cul­tural/en­ter­tain­ment com­plex that is op­er­ated by the eighth and ninth gen­er­a­tions of the Ly­man fam­ily. Diana Ross McCain has been re­search­ing, writ­ing, and speak­ing about Con­necti­cut his­tory for more than 30 years. She holds bach­e­lor’s and mas­ter’s de­grees in his­tory, and was on the staff of the Con­necti­cut His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety in Hartford 25 years. She is the au­thor of five non-fic­tion books on Con­necti­cut and New Eng­land his­tory.

The his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety, head­quar­tered in the Gen­eral Joseph Mans­field House, will hold its an­nual busi­ness meet­ing at 6:30 p.m. pre­ced­ing the lec­ture, which is de­liv­ered each year in mem­ory of Arthur Schultz. The pre­sen­ta­tion is free and open to the pub­lic. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, please call the So­ci­ety at 860-346-0746.

Red Cross urges sup­port for fam­i­lies in dis­as­ters

The Amer­i­can Red Cross is ask­ing peo­ple in Con­necti­cut to re­mem­ber those fam­i­lies im­pacted by dis­as­ter and to #help1­fam­ily on Giv­ing Day, Wed­nes­day, April 26. Do­na­tions can pro­vide hope and ur­gent re­lief such as food, blan­kets and other es­sen­tials to peo­ple who need it most.

“Nearly ev­ery eight min­utes, there is a fam­ily that has lost ev­ery­thing to a home fire or other dis­as­ter. This one-day na­tion­wide event will raise funds to en­sure the Red Cross is able to meet the crit­i­cal mis­sion of help­ing those fam­i­lies who have been af­fected by emer­gen­cies,” said Mario Bruno, CEO, Amer­i­can Red Cross Con­necti­cut and Rhode Is­land Re­gion.

Giv­ing Day is a 24-hour fundrais­ing cam­paign sup­port­ing the work of the Red Cross, help­ing peo­ple across the coun­try each and ev­ery day in need of emer­gency sup­port.

In Con­necti­cut the Red Cross re­sponded to more than 600 dis­as­ters last year, the ma­jor­ity of which were home fires and helped more than 1,200 fam­i­lies. As part of the Red Cross Home Fire Cam­paign, our re­gion has in­stalled more than 12,000 smoke alarms and have made 4,500 fam­i­lies safer.

Red Cross Health and Safety in­struc­tors taught nearly 70,000 Con­necti­cut res­i­dents how to pro­tect them­selves and their fam­i­lies or to help oth­ers in an emer­gency through classes in First Aid, CPR, Life­guard train­ing, Babysit­ter train­ing, Com­mu­nity Dis­as­ter Ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams and more, mak­ing our neigh­bor­hoods safer for ev­ery­one who lives here.

Sup­port of the Amer­i­can Red Cross Giv­ing Day is a prom­ise of bet­ter days ahead for those in our com­mu­nity who have lost ev­ery­thing. Please con­sider do­nat­ing to the Red Cross at https://giv­ing­day.red­cross.org/re­gion/rhode-is­land-and-con­necti­cut on April 26.

The Amer­i­can Red Cross shel­ters, feeds and pro­vides emo­tional sup­port to vic­tims of dis­as­ters; sup­plies about 40 per­cent of the na­tion’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; pro­vides in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian aid; and sup­ports mil­i­tary mem­bers and their fam­i­lies. The Red Cross is a not­for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that de­pends on vol­un­teers and the gen­eros­ity of the Amer­i­can pub­lic to per­form its mis­sion. For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit red­cross.org or cruzro­jaamer­i­cana.org, or on Twit­ter at @Red­Cross.

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