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Connecticut officials seek pardon for executed abolitionist

August 3, 2018

NORWICH, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials have asked the state of Virginia to pardon a 19th-century abolitionist who was executed after John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry.

Aaron Dwight Stevens, who was born in Lisbon and raised in Norwich, was injured early in the 1859 battle and later convicted of “advising slaves to rebel” and hanged.

Connecticut state Sen. Cathy Osten, a Democrat whose district includes Lisbon, says the 29-year-old Stevens would be considered a hero today for his fight to end slavery.

In 2015, Route 138 in Lisbon was renamed the Aaron Dwight Stevens Memorial Highway.

The office of Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia says it has received the application and will review it. The office says it could be more than a year before the governor makes a final decision.

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