Library DrawingThe CONNector

JULY 2001Volume 3 Number 3

From the Connecticut State Archives: Voices From the Past

Mark Jones, State Archivist

The State Archives is the official repository for records of Connecticut's governors. Files contain letters from public officials and constituents, speeches and press releases, and letters from persons living outside the state. Often these materials express opinions on issues that continue to be discussed in our own day. A few examples follow:

Photo of Vivian Kellems
Vivian Kellems

Equal Rights for Women

"I'm speaking of a new time. I'm talking about what is going to happen after the [Second World] War is over . . .what are you going to do with all these women in industry? If we're good enough to go into these factories and turn out munitions in order to win this war, we're good enough to hold those jobs after the war and to sit at a table to determine the kind of peace that shall be made, and the kind of world we and our children are going to have in the future."

Vivian Kellems, Westport Industrialist and Advocate for an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Address before the Susan B. Anthony Dinner, National Women's Party, February 16, 1943.

Brotherhood and the Consent of the Governed

"Wide areas of human rights and human welfare have been protected by our [Connecticut's] legislation; but the active vigilance of each citizen is the bedrock upon which our laws are founded. And laws can never accomplish the purposes for which they were drafted without the thoughtful and deliberate assent of our people, freely given."

Governor Abraham Ribicoff, Frank Jacoby Lecture, University of Bridgeport, February 19, 1957.

Loyalty and Liberty

"We will, I believe, be infinitely stronger (and happier) maintaining our trust in our fellow - man than in mistrusting our neighbors, keeping a man's civil rights and liberties inviolate rather than curtailing it by loyalty oaths and investigations which breed suspicions and distrust."

Charles Wyle, Wilson, CT, Letter to Governor John Davis Lodge, May 7, 1951, objecting to Lodge's public statement that he was considering a loyalty oath for state employees.

Racial Hatred

"Cross burnings and other acts of racial violence are condemned by all responsible persons who believe that our society must be based upon racial justice and harmony. An attack against the dignity of any one person is an affront to us all. We in New England and in the entire country must react quickly and strongly against any insidious attempts to pit one racial or ethnic group against another."

Governor Ella T. Grasso, before the State Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, December 14, 1979.

Photo of Lloyd G. Seymour
Lloyd G. Seymour

The Promise of Freedom

"As the spirit of progression is being felt among us as a people, and as the day star of gladness rises higher and higher in our horizon and we feel its enlivening rays, it creates among us a desire to show to the World, to the people that not only in times of war can we occupy places of men, but also in times of peace."

Lloyd G. Seymour, Hartford, veteran of the 29th Connecticut Volunteers [Colored] Infantry, to Governor William A. Buckingham, August 14, 1865, requesting formation of a Black company in the Connecticut Militia.

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