Bassick Scion Defends Family Honor Following School Board Member’s Slave-Trade Crack

This commentary was read into the record at Monday’s Board of Education meeting rejecting allegations leveled by board member Chris Taylor.

I am E. Webb Bassick IV, the oldest survivor of Edgar Webb Bassick who contributed the property for the construction of Bassick High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The purpose of this statement is to refute an on-the-record remark made by school Board member Chris Taylor asserting that my relatives, specifically Edgar Webb Bassick and/or his father (my great, great grandfather), Edmund Chase Bassick, made their fortune while engaged in the slave trade.

I have read all of the available published literature about both my great grandfather as well as my great, great grandfather. There is no suggestion in any published or private information that either of my relatives were engaged in any way in the slave trade, not to mention making a “fortune” from it. Further to this point, Edmund Chase Bassick founded the Bassick Gold Mine in Custer County Colorado in 1877, twelve years AFTER the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, was officially adopted on December 18, 1865. Prior to discovering gold; Edmund was a day laborer at the Centennial Mine a few miles away. The Bassick Company was founded by Edgar Webb Bassick around 1911, again, thirty-five years after slavery ended. Please note he started his business career as a $9-a-week laborer in a machine tool factory in Bridgeport in 1897. Neither of these relatives of mine brought any “fortune” into their business careers. And none of my relatives had any involvement with slavery or the slave trade.

I am proud of what both my great grandfather and great, great grandfather did for Bridgeport. It is sad and disappointing to me and to my family that Chris Taylor chose to attempt to sully their names and to disparage the work they did for Bridgeport.

It is clear that when Mr. Taylor made the comment that my great, great grandfather was involved in the slave trade, the vast majority of school board members, including the Chair, failed to admonish Mr. Taylor for his incredibly offensive and slanderous remarks. In fact, only Ms. Pereira challenged his baseless assertions and attempted to correct the record on behalf of the Bassick family.

In closing, in consultation with our family attorney, he feels quite certain that because Mr. Taylor made these slanderous remarks in his capacity as a school board member during a school board meeting; the Bridgeport Board of Education could be held liable in a court of law for slander, and our family would be entitled to compensatory damages for denigrating our family name.

On behalf of the Bassick Family, it is our expectation that Mr. Taylor issue a formal apology to the Bassick family and that it be published both on the Bridgeport Public School website, and in the local newspaper of record for Bridgeport which published Mr. Taylor’s slanderous remarks. I would hope that Mr. Taylor would correct the record.

Respectfully submitted,

E. Webb Bassick IV

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19 comments

  1. We need to get back to the beginning. I will contact State Rep. Steve Stafstrom and I hope he will reconsider the total destruction of the Bassick heritage,the irreplaceable quality of the original Bassick High School . State Rep. Steve Stafstrom has declare that the “new” Bassick High School shoud be dedicated to manufacturing,design and construction. The original Bassick High School building will be an important lesson on quality construction and design. The original Bassick building will be a one semester by itself of construction,design and quality. I call upon State Rep. Steve Stafstom to talk to the Bridgeport Community via OIB.

    1. At the Public Hearing held at Bassick High School; students, faculty, alumni and members of the community had testified in favor of renovating the original building or demolishing it and building a brand new building.

      I read the wonderful testimony submitted by former City Historian,,Charles Brivlitch into the record. I was repeatedly heckled by those in opposition to renovating the original Bassick structure.

      As we were deliberating, Chris Taylor stated he was going to vote in favor of renovating the original Bassick building until I read aloud the history of the Bassick family.

      He stated that Bassick made his fortune while engaged in the slave trade. You could here the gasps from members of the audience. I immediately contradicted his baseless and slanderous claims. Chris Taylor made a motion to Move the Question and the voted 7 to 2 to demolish the original building and build a brand new building in its place

      I couldn’t bring myself to tell the Bassick family about Chris Taylor’s slanderous and highly offensive comments during the holidays. I told them after Christmas.

      I have repeatedly placed the Bassick family rebuttal on agendas to read it into the record of a regular meeting since January. Due to a lack of a quorum and other machinations by the majority I have been unable to do so.

      I submitted it for a fourth time for the March 11th Regular Meeting and John Weldon refused to add it to the agenda. He stated Chris Taylor’s remarks were “regrettable” and I could send him the letter to distribute to the other board members. Duh, I could email the letter to board members myself, but this further demonstrates his need for control.

      I simply had a friend come to the microphone and read the letter into the record during public comment.

      I will not be silenced by a Chair and his cohort that passed illegal bylaws. I am not his subject. I am his equal. Quite frankly, I am significantly more knowledgeable than John Weldon on every single topic.

  2. Chris was playing to a boisterous crowd of stooges who were told to yell and scream to get these beautiful functional buildings torn down
    Ashamedly, they succeeded
    Two gymnasiums, a potential music hall, an elaborate rooftop domed periscope and an irreplaceable neo classical building designed by a famous architect, on land formerly the site of PT Barnum’s rsidence, Lindencroft, being destroyed.
    The City Council except for Spain and a Jackson approved the demo
    Reprehensible and disingenuous indeed.

  3. Chris is riding his righteous indignation to a new school. Chris Taylor can we expect that same righteous indignation with respect to Christopher Columbus.
    Columbus saw profit in enslaving and selling native peoples kidnapped from Caribbean shores. Once he made allies among what he called “good Indians,” Columbus advocated fighting and enslaving native groups he presumed to be cannibals. By 1500, he and his brothers had sent nearly 1,500 enslaved islanders to European markets to be sold.

    Let’s remove every vestige of Columbus from the statues to the parade in the City of Bridgeport because we know for sure that he dealt in the slave market.

  4. Day just remember when you add those Latinos to your minority stats when preaching your righteousness. Columbus was hire by Spain, and there’s a reason all of South America speaks a form of Spanish and not Italian, 500 million of them. So lets not forget what they did to the Natives. How many Indian Reservations are in South America and the Islands? So when you preach your righteous indignation let’s try to be honest about history, beside from what motivation you.

    I asked my professor who built the pyramids. He said slaves. I said know, I was tough that in high school. The Hebrews, who God sent Moses ( not Ernie) to free them. But I said who were their slave masters, what color where they? While he didn’t gave me and answer. It is logical and scientific to say they where an ancient Black civilization in Africa with a slave system that used them to build them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahkwQhQZWG8

    1. P.S. So Day after our history class on OIB. Do you feel the vestige of pyramids should be removed, Cinco de Mayo, or the Puerto Rican (people according to you, blacks will not vote for) parade be cancelled for its involvement with slavery? What about the Bible, Quran should they be removed for its involvement in slavery? Let not construe what the English did and the Irish and their slavery. The language we speak. JS

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xeCBPRmF4Y

    2. @RobertT
      ” there’s a reason all of South America speaks a form of Spanish and not Italian, 500 million of them.”
      You need a refresher World History Class:
      Brazil, the LARGEST country in South America has Portugese as its official language
      Suriname, French Guiana, and Guyana on the northeast coast of South America have Dutch, French and English as their official languages (respectively).

      Not of that takes away from the fact that Chris Taylor acted like a complete asshole and should be censured and resign from public office.
      I’m sorry that he has a say in how some of our family’s Bridgeport taxes are spent.

      1. Fair enough, France did colonized to the North., knock off 30 million. If you heard my current debate with Maria. Portuguese is a form of Spanish. I Lump them together as “non-whites.” We can split hairs, my point stands about slavery, Columbus and the atrocity that was brought to the new world when he “discovered”. I guess, well, we know the English involvement. Lets add France and the Dutch to it. Good Job Marshall. 🙂

        1. My point was in case you missed it. Was the Italians didn’t do the atrocities just because Columbus was Italian. That being said Italians sure can pick them to honor its heritage. They where not part of the slave trade and the atrocities to colonization natives of the new world like the English, Dutch, France, Spain, and Portugal did.

        2. @RobertT
          I was a student of Latin for many years.
          There are 5 Romance languages: French, Italian,Portugese, Romanian and Spanish with their assorted dialects. I do not agree that Portugese is a form of Spanish.
          Castillian is a form a Spanish, Portugese is a distinct language. Linguists consider it closer to northern Italian than Spanish.
          I don’t disagree with your premise of Columbus being but a hired hand to the Spanish monarch, he claimed no land for Italy. In fact there was no country called Italy for almost another 300 years after he sailed to the ‘New World’
          The Dutch colonized northern Brazil and when pushed out in 1638 Jews exiled from Recife by the Catholic Portugese arrived in New York and founded a community there.

          I love history and geography and have spent much time exploring South America, I reacted to the misuse of the word ‘ALL’

          Social norms, mores and laws change over time. It is not fair to take 21st Century feelings and apply them to the actions of people 5 centuries earlier, doing what was both legal and acceptable in their society. Even the Bible discusses the treatment and rules for slaves and slavery. We cannot villify those who acted under the legal code of their time.

          My family arrived in the US after the abolition of slavery and was subject to legal discrimination until 1964 when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. In 1963 the admissions officer interviewing my brother at Princeton, told him…’you may have a 4.0 and perfect SAT score but the Jew Quota is closed. When I applied to the Ivies a few years later they could not ask religion or race.
          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
          Lumping Hispanics or Latinos and Brazilians into the non-white category is not accurate. Their are lily white and pitch black residents in Latin America. Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil are loaded with white communities. Bahia (Salvador), Brazil is the second blackest city in the Americas, after Washington DC.

          Again, Chris Taylor has to go

          1. You’re missing my point. Portugal and Spain are from the same geographical location. How is it someone from Spain and its decent are considered non-white Yet Portugal and its decent are not. Well sort of

            There maybe 5 Romance languages but Spanish and Portuguese are very similar. I’m lumping them all up by those who invaded and colonized the new world. Regardless of the language that conquered the land and people. There atrocities are similar.

            There may have not been Italy when Columbus discovered the new world but he, and Columbus Day represents Italy now.

            Who was it legal and acceptable too. Are you say the African slaves accepted the legal action to taken. Or The Native Indians accepted the legal actions to have their land taken. Lets agree to say legal and acceptance was conquer.

            If you go back, Ancient Rome conquered (or it was legally and acceptance to them) that land . So there’s going to be a Latin base Linguistics.

            If you go back farther doesn’t science and history state we ALL are descendants for Africa? So wouldn’t that make ALL of us are African? The probably with history the victors write it and it changes over time. That’s always white washed.

            You are Jewish, do you still believe and follow the old laws where if one was gay you where commanded by God to put them to death? If God law has change can the God’s covenant as being the chosen people change.

            P.S My personal take the kippah it was the first toupee. 🙂

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyFvVF_9U8c

          2. ?
            Legal actions to be taken?
            All of us African
            writes it
            you were commanded
            If God’s laws has changed

            JML found some Grammar mistakes. While it’s not in the CAFR I hate to see the Grammar cards go to waste. 🙂

            P.S Abomination no more, put to death no more, Chosen people no more. Not sure about the 5 romance languages, but I heard France is the best to cures with.

            Cause and effect. 🙂 BAM 🙂

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24EkHHhzKcc

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