The Champion Story

General George Washington and The Champion Family of Colchester


Colonel Henry Champion born in East Haddam in 1723 was the grandson of Henry Champion; an original settler of Saybrook.   In 1775, Colonel Champion was selected to be a Commissary for the war effort, his duties were to procure goods and supply the Continental Army with provisions.  Colonel Champion worked closely with the top colonial leaders, including General George Washington and Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull.

During the winter of 1777-1778, Champion was summoned by General George Washington to command a wagon train needed to feed starving troops at Valley Forge.  A herd of beef cattle, purchased at great expense, was driven over 300 miles under the personal direction of Colonel Henry Champion and his son, Epaphroditus.  The beef was eaten by the starving troops in only five days.

In 1789 Colonel Champion married and settled in Colchester raising two prominent sons, Epaphroditus and Henry, who also served in the Revolutionary War.  Epaphroditus worked with his father in the Commissary of the Army and eventually reached the rank of Commissary General.  Henry became an outstanding military leader and also reached the rank of General.

Learn More About Col. Henry Champion >>
Learn More About Gen. Henry Champion >>

Current News!


Historic School for Colored Children
Dedication Ceremony & Ribbon-Cutting
Friday, September 15
4:30 pm; Free
Location: Colchester Federated Church

Join the Colchester Historical Society and the Colchester Historic District Commission as the reconstructed  Historic 1803 School for Colored Children is dedicated.  Beverly Morgan-Welch, Associate Director of External Affairs for the National Museum of African American History and Culture with the Smithsonian Institution, will offer the keynote presentation, with ribbon-cutting and catered refreshments to follow.  For more information, email: mail@colchesterhistory.org.

Community Conversation
Saturday, September 16
9 am to noon; Free
Location: Colchester Federated Church

The Colchester Historical Society will offer a panel presentation and discussion moderated by Connecticut’s Old State House director Sally Whipple, featuring Beverly Morgan-Welch, Yale historian Dr. Peter Hinks, and other noted historians and cultural experts on the history and future of the School for Colored Children, which will include a conversation with the audience.  Morning refreshments provided.

This is the first in a series of public discussions that will culminate in a long-term exhibit about the history of the Colchester Historic School for Colored Children to be on display at the Colchester History Museum in 2018, funded in part through a grant from CTHumanities.  For more information, email mail@colchesterhistory.org.

 

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