Author to discuss the Lyman family in upcoming program
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.