EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

September 13, 2013

Conn. slave who died in 1798 called 'child of God'

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A slave who died more than 200 years ago in Connecticut but was never buried has finally been given a funeral and will be laid to rest.

The Rev. Amy D. Welin of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Waterbury told hundreds gathered for the service Thursday that Mr. Fortune, as he was called, was being buried not as a slave “but as a child of God who is blessed.”

Organizers say it’s a long overdue honor for the man who was never properly buried. His owner, a bone doctor, preserved his skeleton for medical study and a descendant eventually gave the bones to a museum, which put the skeleton on display.

Tests by Quinnipiac University confirmed Fortune lived with painful injuries. The cause of death was not determined.

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