Crandall established New England’s first school for black girls in 1833 in the Connecticut town of Canterbury. Townspeople opposed to the school persuaded the state legislature to pass the so-called "Black Law," which declared the operation of such schools to be illegal. When Crandall defied the law, she was arrested, tried, and convicted. She later appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, and the Court reversed her conviction, not on the merits of the case but because it found the language of the charging documents to be insufficient. The citizens of Canterbury, however, continued their physical attacks on the school and their harassment of Crandall, and in 1834, the school was closed. Crandall was designated state heroine in 1995.
For more, see the following:
The Real Canterbury Tale, and Why Miss Prudence Closed Her School and Fled West by Joel Lang, Hartford Courant, September 29, 2002
A Canterbury Tale: A Document Package for Connecticut’s Prudence Crandall Affair from Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition