This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Cos Cob's Hamlet Hub.
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...
Students and teachers comment on their experiences:
Michaela White, a student at Sacred Heart said she wants people to know “how truly terrible this [slavery] is. After learning about a specific family, I became more passionate for reducing inequities in the world and educating others on the topic to spread more awareness. Hopefully, it will empower others to speak up and advocate for other topics and issues that they want changed.
According to Kelly Bridges, a teacher at Sacred Heart, the seventh-grade students began last year to investigate the lives of enslaved individuals who lived and worked in Greenwich during the late 18th and 19th centuries: “Students dedicated considerable time and energy working in collaboration with the Greenwich Historical Society to research the lives of three individuals, Candice, Cull, and Patience, who were all enslaved by the Bush family. They produced creative and thoughtful projects to reflect the history of slavery in Greenwich and the experiences of these individuals. The end goal was to install actual “Witness Stones” on the campus of the Bush-Holley House to remember these individuals and to educate the public about their contributions to the Town’s history.”
Thanks to our partnership with Witness Stones and the hard work of the students and teachers of Sacred Heart and Greenwich Academy, our mission of preserving and interpreting Greenwich’s history and strengthening the community’s connection to the past, each other and to the future will be enhanced.”
*Image shows Sacred Heart Greenwich students at Greenwich Historical Society Archives researching enslaved Greenwich residents, courtesy of Kelly Bridges of Sacred Heart