- The Washington Times - Friday, September 13, 2013

A man who was a slave in life and a tool for medical research in death was finally given the rest and honors he deserved — albeit 200 years late — with an elaborate funeral that included a Capitol rotunda viewing following by full Hartford police escort to the church cemetery for burial.

The man is known as Mr. Fortune, NBC reported.

On Thursday, his remains were placed in repose in the rotunda at the Hartford, Conn., Capitol building. Organizers said the honors, and burial, are long overdue.

“He was a slave and basically enslaved after his death by being used for scientific research without his permission,” said Steven Mullins, president of the Union of Black Episcopalians, in the NBC report. “So … he’s going to have the honors that he should’ve had, and I feel this isn’t just for Mr. Fortune, but on behalf of everyone in slavery.”

Mr. Fortune died in slavery in 1798, in his 40s. His owner, Dr. Preserved Porter — a bone doctor who worked in Waterbury — saved his skeletal remains for study. Mr. Fortune’s bones were ultimately given to a museum and placed on display.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said, in a statement reported by NBC: “Fortune was a Waterbury man who worked, lived and died in our state at a time when African Americans were denied basic civil rights. After 215 years, he will finally be laid to rest. While we can’t undo the wrongs of the past, we can honor those who were affected and push for positive change in the future.”