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Black History Month 2022 Celebration

February 04, 2022
Christopher Ellery House, Newport
80 Divison Street, RI
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Link to full William Ellery Channing / Dutchess Quamino Story


WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING (c.1817 – December 1901)
William Ellery Channing’s was impassioned public speaker who became known as the “Father of Unitarianism”. Channing served as the minister of the prestigious Federal Street Church in Boston from 1803 to 1842. His religious thoughts and writings were among the chief influences on the New England Transcendentalists, authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

He was an abolitionist. He may have been influenced by Duchess Quamino who was his nanny in his early life. They fostered a lifelong friendship thereafter.

DUCHESS “CHARITY” QUAMINO (c. 1739 – June 1804)
Duchess “Charity” Quamino was a formerly enslaved woman who worked as a nanny and cook in the household of William Ellery. Duchess was also a talented baker, a wife and mother, and a rare entrepreneur in the Era of Slavery, becoming well known as the “Pastry Queen of Rhode Island.”

Duchess Quamino was born to a family on the Gold Coast of Africa, in Senegal or Ghana, and was taken captive, sold into slavery, and transported on the slave ship Elizabeth to Newport where she became the property of attorney William Ellery and his wife. Quamino grew into an entrusted nanny and excelled in baking, a skill that would sustain her in later years.


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