The 25th annual Venture Smith Day Festivities will be held on Saturday, September 11th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the First Church Cemetery, 499 Town Street (RT. 151), East Haddam, Connecticut, where Venture Smith (1729-1805) is buried.

Learn more here

Son of an African king, Venture Smith was the first black man to document his capture from Africa and life as an American slave and successful black freeman in Connecticut. Well-known and respected, Venture Smith spent most of his freedom years in East Haddam and Haddam Neck. His grave is one of the original sites on the Connecticut Freedom Trail.

Speakers – Bill Sullivan, a teacher at the Suffield Academy; ­ Corinne Henry, 9th generation descendant of Venture Smith; ­Dr. Nancy Steenburg, professor of history, UCONN; Dr. Karl P. Stofko, East Haddam’s Municipal Historian & Venture Smith family genealogist.

 Event is free. 25th anniversary souvenir caps will be available for suggested $10 donation to cover cost (while supplies last). Children & adults welcome. For more information email

Please bring a chair or blanket to sit on outside. Masks will be required inside the church building. Refreshments available. Come and learn about this amazing man.

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