In 1795 a group of enslaved African-Jamaicans were emancipated by Quaker, and Barclay’s Bank founder, David Barclay of London. The group included a boy named October, who also went by the name Robert Barclay. On Thursday October 27, 2016 the Newport Historical Society will host Keith and Theresa Stokes from the 1696 Heritage Group to retrace the story of Young Barclay and Keith’s ancestors during the talk Legacies of Slavery & Freedom: A Family Journey through the Atlantic World.
Young Barclay’s story is one of slavery, freedom and reparations that has been revealed after nearly two years of scholarly research dramatically documenting one of the most famous emancipation and reparations efforts in the early Atlantic World. During this multimedia presentation the Stokes’ will share how Young Barclay was transported to Philadelphia through the efforts of both the Pennsylvania Abolition Society and founders of the first African Episcopal Churches in America. It’s a story that spans over 200 years of history, from the 18th century slave plantations of Jamaica to the formations of free African heritage communities in Philadelphia, Bridgeport, CT and Newport, that has been extensively researched through family papers, wills, heirlooms and published historical accounts from Robert Barclay’s direct ancestor, Keith Stokes of Newport. The program will include an exhibit of Barclay family heirlooms that represent two centuries as Barclay family members are actively intertwined with the earliest African American places of worship, masonic orders, civil rights and commerce.
Legacies of Slavery & Freedom takes place at 5:30pm at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI. Admission is free but seating is limited, please RSVP online at NewportHistory.org.
This lecture is generously funded by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.