Born in Bradford on Sept 23, 1795, Alexander Twilight was raised in Corinth and educated in Randolph’s Grammar School. In 1823, he graduated from Middlebury College, the first African-American to earn a bachelor’s degree. In 1836, when Twilight was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives, he became the first African-American ever to hold elected state office, and was the only African-American to do so before the Civil War.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, Vermonters will gather on a hilltop in Corinth to commemorate Twilight’s legacy. This free event will feature music by Spencer Lewis, a reading of an Alexander Twilight sermon and a speech by Middlebury history Professor William Hart. All are welcome, and free-will donations will support the Corinth Historical Society, the Old Stone House Museum in Brownington and the guest participants.
Professor Hart’s talk, ‘On His Own Resources: The Indomitable Will of Alexander Twilight, 1795-1857,’ will introduce listeners to Twilight’s remarkable personality and achievements.
In 1829, Twilight moved to Brownington to take up the post of principal at the Orleans County Grammar School. The school served a two-county area, and Twilight addressed the needs of out-of-town students by designing, raising funds for and building Athenian Hall, a handsome, four-story granite dormitory known today as the Old Stone House. The hall is now a museum and, along with Twilight’s own house, National Register of Historic Places, along with Twilight’s own home, which is the headquarters of the Brownington Historical Society.
Twilight also served Vermont communities as a pastor, preaching in Vergennes, Waltham and Ferrisburg and becoming the minister of Brownington’s Congregational Church.
The celebration of Twilight’s legacy will be held outdoors at 1671 Heath Rd. Corinth, starting at 1:30 p.m. Take a blanket or chair to sit on, and extra layers to stay warm. Snacks will be provided and bathroom facilities as well as water will be available.
Contact Davey Ozahowski, the event host, with any questions or concerns. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or either the home phone number 802-785-4102 or cell phone 802-989-1198.