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Teachers at Canterbury

Four white people are known to have been formal teachers at the Canterbury Female Academy during its life as a school for Black women and girls.

These four people were two pairs of siblings:





There was also an additional white teacher in the first Academy, whose life as a disabled person makes his story worthy of some attention, even though there is no evidence that he taught in the Academy when Black women were there.


Prudence Crandall (1803-1890)


Prudence Crandall in Rhode Island and Connecticut prior to reading The Liberator (1803-1832)

Prudence Crandall, Abolitionist Teacher, and the Canterbury Female Academy (1832-1834)

Prudence Crandall Philleo and the Peregrinations of Marriage (1834-1845)

Prudence Crandall in Illinois (

Prudence Crandall in Kansas (-1890)

Almira Crandall (Hannah Almira Crandall Rand) (1813-1837)

Mary Burleigh
(Frances Mary Burleigh Ames) (1807-1877)

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 William Burleigh (1812-1871)


Andrew Cutler (1799-1876)

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Anti-slavery excerpts: Wilberforce (above), Hannah Gould (below)

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Andrew Cutler was a disabled person who taught in and around the Plainfield, Connecticut area. He gave lectures on Chemistry to Prudence Crandall's First Academy. There is no evidence yet that he did this after she changed her white scholars for Black women, but it is likely that he was still teaching at the Academy when Sarah Harris first joined the student body.

In 1841 he published a book, English Grammar and Parser, made up of Proverbs, Interesting Anecdotes, Prose and Poetical Selections: Addressed to School Examining Committees; Teachers, and Scholars a Little Advanced in Understanding (Plainfield, CT: W.A. Bennet and John S. French, Teachers, 1841). Full text of the book is available

In this book he describes himself thus “The author has busied himself with study for twenty years; for seventeen years, been an excessive lame man, with nothing to do but to read, digest and teach a few scholars, principally schoolmasters.”

In his English Grammar and Parser, Cutler includes two strong statements against slavery as rhetorical examples, and none in support of slavery. There are some examples of imperialist travel literature and scientific racism from early anthropology, though this was regrettably commonplace at the time. The two anti-slavery statements are included here in pictures from the text. While Wilberforce is famous to all, Hannah Gould was a noted sentimental poet of the time, from William Lloyd Garrison's hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts; some of her poems were published in The Liberator.

He is buried in Moosup Cemetery in Windham county, Connecticut.

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