Fortune, a Connecticut slave who died in 1798, was finally laid to rest on Sept. 12, 2013 — 215 years later.
Fortune's remains had been turned over to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, the city where he had been a slave in the late 18th Century. They remained there while the museum and anthropologists worked to piece together his story.
As history has it, Fortune was the property of Dr. Preserved Porter, a Waterbury physician. He passed Fortune's skeletal remains down through the generations, until 1933 when they were given to the museum.
Following a ceremony at the state capitol Thursday morning, the memorial service took place at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Waterbury — where it is believe Fortune was baptized in 1797. Interment was scheduled to follow at Riverside Cemetery.
“Fortune was a Waterbury man who worked, lived and died in our state at a time when African Americans were denied basic civil rights. After 215 years, he will finally be laid to rest,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said. “While we can’t undo the wrongs of the past, we can honor those who were affected and push for positive change in the future. I commend the Mattatuck Museum, St. John’s Episcopal Church clergy and other committee members who worked for years to ensure a proper burial service for Fortune.”