Historic Cemetery In Newport Getting A "Kickstart"

Dec 2, 2013

Some Newport residents have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to buy a new sign for the African burial cemetery known as “God’s Little Acre.”  The original sign was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011.  The new sign is estimated to cost 55-hundred dollars.

The cemetery is also the subject of a new website.

God's Little Acre cemetery in Newport
Credit God's Little Acre Kickstarter

God’s Little Acre, a cemetery on Farewell Street in Newport, is thought to be the oldest and largest burial place for African Americans from the 18th century.  Here lies thousands of free and enslaved blacks.  And now you don’t even have to go to see it.  Theresa Guzman Stokes has created a website called “ColonialCemtery.com.”

"I think it’s importance can’t be overstated. What drew me to it is the history, the people, the things they’ve done, the things they’ve accomplished. You don’t find that anywhere else. Not in the American south, and I don’t think anywhere else in the north," said Stokes.

The website contains photographs of 240 headstones.  Some of Stokes’s favorites are Duchess Quamino, an enslaved widow who started a successful catering business from her master’s home and Newport Gardener, a slave who was a musical prodigy and eventually made his way back to Africa.

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