RISHM Installation Ceremony at Trinity Church

By Charles Roberts, October 24, 2022

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Trinity Church and Slavery during the Colonial Period

Trinity Church was founded in 1698 as a mission of the Church of England. Early parishioners included slave owners and traffickers, such as George Gibbs II, who is interred in the Trinity Church graveyard.

Cuffe Gibbs, the slave of George Gibbs II, is buried in God’s Little Acre on Farewell Street in Newport. His brother, the enslaved artisan, Pompe Stevens, carved the original ‘Soul Effigy’ angel image, placed at this site location, for the gravestone of his deceased brother Cuffe, in 1768.It was the first signed African American decorative artwork to be made in North America.

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