An unsung pioneer of the abolitionist era, schoolteacher Prudence Crandall ran an academy in the town of Canterbury decades before the Civil War. When a Black girl asked for entrance, the White townspeople howled in protest. Crandall responded by sending the White girls home and opening the first all-Black girls’ academy.
The quaint Prudence Crandall Museum (Rtes. 14 and 169, Canterbury, 860/546-7800, www.ct.gov/ , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Thu. May.–Oct., $6 adults, $4 seniors, students and children 6–17, free children under 5) does an excellent job of dramatizing the challenges Crandall faced in keeping the school open—her struggles make Connecticut  in the 1830s look worse than Mississippi in the 1960s.
After a lawsuit and an attack by an angry mob, Crandall was forced to shut down the school after only eight months, but she spent the rest of her life fighting for the abolitionist cause.