Association for the Study of Connecticut History

Annual Spring Meeting



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Wethersfield Historical Society

Keeney Cultural Center

200 Main Street (driving directions)

Wethersfield, Connecticut

Printable registration page – Spring meeting 2015 in Wethersfield

Online registration



8:30     Registration (Coffee and refreshments)

9:15     Welcome remarks and introductions


Nancy Steenburg, President, ASCH


            Rachel Zilinski, Wethersfield Historical Society


9:15-10:00    Rachel Zilinski, curator, Wethersfield Historical Society, “Wethersfield: The Prison and the Historical Society”

Rachel Zilinski has been the curator at Wethersfield Historical Society for the past five years, focusing on community collaborative exhibitions and programming that enhance a sense of place through our shared past.  Zilinski holds a Master’s in Public History from Central Connecticut State University and a B. A. in History and Secondary Education from Southern Connecticut State University.


10:00-10:45    Jan Schenk Grosskopf, Independent Scholar, “For Mischief Done: The Trial of Hannah Occuish”

Dr. Jan Schenk Grosskopf received her B.A. in History from Connecticut College.  After twenty years in the corporate world, she received her M. A. and Ph. D. at the University of Connecticut, writing her dissertation on the Rogerenes.  ” ‘for Mischief done’ ” is her first novel, based on the criminal prosecution of Hannah Occuish in the 1786 murder trial of a 12-year-old Pequot Indian girl.


10:45-11:00     Coffee/Tea Break


11:00-11:45    Nancy Steenburg, University of Connecticut, “Mercy, Gratitude, or Sexism? The Abby Reed Case”

Dr. Nancy Steenburg earned her Ph. D. in U. S. History from the University of Connecticut in 2002.  She has taught at the University of Connecticut – Avery Point campus since 1996, where she also has served as the interim coordinator of Maritime Studies, the coordinator of American Studies, and currently as the Assistant Director of the Bachelor of General Studies program. The 1833 Abby Reed case presents a juxtaposition of retribution, rehabilitation, and, possibly, gratitude for Abby’s role in thwarting a murderous prison break at the Wethersfield Prison.


11:45-12:15    Lunch Recess


12:15-12:45    Annual Business Meeting

All attendees are welcome at the meeting. Only members can vote.


12:15   Tours of the Wethersfield Historical Society Prison exhibit and historic houses