The Primus Project
Slavery, Race, and Reconstruction at Trinity College
About the Project
The Primus Project aspires to tell a truer and fuller story of Trinity’s history than most people know. The project explores the ways Trinity College—the institution and individuals associated with it—engaged with systems of slavery and white supremacy. It is a research-driven, community-based initiative to better understand the college’s past and forge a more just and inclusive present. By conducting archival research, making primary materials available online, and ultimately producing a report of our findings, we aim to uncover a hidden past and engage the broader community in a deeper understanding of our history.
Who Is Rebecca Primus?
Rebecca Primus was born in Hartford in 1836. She lived on Wadsworth Street, about half a mile from Washington College, which would soon change its name to Trinity. Primus’s great-grandfather had been stolen from Africa, enslaved in England’s North American colonies, and ultimately liberated for his military service in the Revolutionary War. Rebecca Primus had no access to the educational institution up the street from her home, but by the time Trinity moved to its current location in the 1870s, she had created her own educational institution. Learn more.
About the Header Image
The header image depicts Trinity College’s original campus around the year 1870. The building in the foreground is Jarvis Hall, and the structure beyond it (with columns) is Seabury Hall. Both stood from 1825 until 1878, when Trinity moved to its current location. The photographer is unknown. Trinity College Archives.