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Vignette1-Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses, Present Day

South of I-95 along Main Street in South End

358-60 Main St, Bridgeport, CT 06604


Little Liberia, previously known as Ethiope in the early 1800s, was an autonomous, seafaring community of free Blacks and Native Americans.


Before Bridgeport became independent of Stratford, two men of color, John Feeley and Jacob Freedmen, purchased a house to the south of downtown in Bridgeport, which is now South End, due to the marshy conditions that often stoked mosquito-borne ailments.

Their presence opened the door to future free African Americans and First Nations, particularly Paugusset, to settle nearby.


What set this settlement apart from other enclaves of free African Americans or indigenous was its affluence and economic success during a time of slavery, de facto discrimination, and racial violence.

Due to its seafaring nature, it was a locus of immigration through word of mouth for overseas Hatians, Cape Verdean, and other Afro-Atlantic peoples.


Questions to Consider

How can communities of color establish or operate spaces of automony?

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