LOCATIONGreenwich Historical Society
47 Strickland Rd.,
Cos Cob, 06807, CT,US
- Contact: Cai Pandolfino
- Phone: 2038696899
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: https://greenwichhistory.org/event/witness-stones-placement-ceremony/
Featured Description (from the owner)
Historical Society to Celebrate the Humanity of Greenwich’s Enslaved Individuals at Ceremony on May 27th
Engraved Stones Honoring their Lives to be Placed at Bush-Holly House through Collaboration with Sacred Heart Greenwich, Greenwich Academy Students, and the Witness Stones Project
Greenwich Historical Society will host a ceremony on May 27th at 1 pm to honor the legacy of enslaved persons who resided in Greenwich. Open to the public, the event will take place on the Historical Society campus in Cos Cob to include town officials, civic leaders, clergy as well as teachers and students from Greenwich Academy and Sacred Heart Greenwich who were instrumental in researching the lives of the enslaved individuals. Enslaved persons will be honored with a “Witness Stones Memorial” engraved with their name, known birth and death dates and primary occupations, and placed on the grounds near Bush-Holley House where they resided. A reception with light snacks will follow.
The Historical Society collaborated with The Witness Stone Project on this initiative that seeks to teach school-age children about enslaved persons in their hometowns using primary sources like deeds, wills and letters. Students and teachers from Sacred Heart and Greenwich Academy, who are also partners in the program, have worked diligently, with the support of the Historical Society, in researching the daily lives of the enslaved. The ceremony will be the culmination of their work over the past 18 months.
While the number of enslaved people estimated to live in Connecticut varies widely, newer research suggests that there were approximately 5,100 enslaved persons in Connecticut in 1774. Numbers for after the Revolutionary War are still being studied. Greenwich Historical Society research estimates there were around 300 enslaved people who resided in Greenwich during the 18th and 19th centuries. Fifteen enslaved individuals who resided at Bush-Holley House in Greenwich from 1790 - 1830 have been identified through inventory and census records.
The May 27th ceremony will honor four of the enslaved who resided at Bush Holley House based on research conducted by the students: Cull Bush and his partner Patience and Candice Bush and her daughter Hester Mead. Additional family members and other enslaved persons who lived throughout Greenwich will be recognized in subsequent years as the partnership expands with the involvement of more of the Town’s schools.
The May 27th ceremony will include presentations by:
- Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, who will present a proclamation citing May 27th as A day of remembrance for those enslaved in the Town of Greenwich for honoring their achievements and lives in building Greenwich.
- Witness Stones Founder and Executive Director Dennis Culliton, who will discuss the relevance of the Witness Stones initiative for Greenwich.
- Reverend Thomas L. Nins, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Greenwich
- Students from Greenwich Academy and Sacred Heart, who will share what they learned about the enslaved and their impact on the history of Greenwich.
- Teresa Vega, local historian and genealogist