Discovery a troubling past
Examining the Moors family legacy
In a recent program on the architectural history of Groton, two GCT trustees heard a disturbing fact that resonated with them: Major Joseph Moors enslaved a human named Titus. Knowing that Moors is the name of a GCT property and that a history on that schoolhouse stated it was named for the Major, this revelation was immediately brought to the attention of the Board.
The trustees are concerned that human enslavement, a part of Groton’s history, is also attached to one of the GCT properties. An internal committee was formed to fully investigate the Moors name, as well as how the schoolhouse site earned that name. The committee’s research was revealing and led the Board to an unanimous decision: this was a story that needed to be told. This page shares what we have learned so far, and documents the research (with links) done to date.
Freedom’s Way Grant Approved
Groton History Center share in the award
The Groton Conservation Trust has successfully secured a grant from The Freedom’s Way 2019 Partnership Grant Program to connect people to the land and biodiversity within the Town of Groton. This project, as described in the March e-newsletter, will research, design and install an educational garden on the Moors Schoolhouse property, located near the Trust’s most visited conservation area, the General Field. You can read about the rich history of this property in a piece by member David Gordon: The Legacy of Moors Schoolhouse.
The garden will showcase non-native plants that have been naturalized, as well as plants used by indigenous peoples of the area for food, medicine and religious purposes. Interpretive signage will be developed with assistance from the Art Department at Groton School. Students from the school will install and maintain the plantings, which will be permanently labeled. Led by trustee David Black, the reclamation effort began in mid-May. Partnering with the GCT will be the Groton History Center.
The Freedom’s Way Grant Program is designed to provide strategic investments in the cultural, natural and historical resources that enhance the sense of place within the forty-five communities of the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area, the Freedom’s Way Partnership Grant Program serves as a catalyst for creative programs and projects that increase awareness and understanding of the region’s heritage by engaging residents and visitors through experiences and promoting stewardship. Nine area awards were given, totaling almost $30,000.
Read the history of this site in “Legacy of Moors School” by David Gordon.