The Noah Porter House is one of several houses in this itinerary within the Farmington Historic District associated with the Mende's stay in Farmington. Houses in the historic district date from 1720 to 1835. Farmington was a prosperous commercial center and the 10th most populous town in the colonies at the time of the American Revolution.
Minister of the First Church of Christ from 1806 to 1866, Reverend Noah Porter was a strong believer in abolition and education. He held to his convictions and sermonized about them from his pulpit despite opposition from vocal anti-abolitionist factions in his church.
During the Mende's stay in Farmington, one of the three young girls, Margru, lived with the Porter family. Of all the Amistad Africans, Margru was the only one to return to the United States after the Mende journeyed back to Africa. She studied at Oberlin College and then returned to Sierra Leone where she spent her life as a teacher in a mission school.
Several of the Porter's seven children devoted their lives to education, as well. Their oldest daughter, Sarah, founded Miss Porter's School in 1843 and their son, Noah, became president of Yale College.
The Noah Porter House is located at 116 Main St. in the Farmington Historic District, roughly bounded by Porter and Mountain rds., Main and Garden sts., Hatter's and Hillstead lns. and Farmington Ave. It is a private residence and is not open to the public.
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