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The beginning of the Hartford branch dates to a small gathering in 1917. On October 9, 1917 James Weldon Johnson, Mary Ovington, and W.E. DuBois came to Hartford and spent an evening in the living room of Fredrick and Mary Seymour at 420 New Britain Avenue to discuss the issues of lynching and discrimination. In November 1917 DuBois, Ovington, and James Weldon Johnson, all prominent leaders within the national office, visited Hartford to address a large meeting at Center Church. On December 10, 1917, the national organization’s board, clearly impressed by the local activism and organizing spirit in Hartford, granted the Hartford branch a permanent charter.