State’s first ‘Witness Stones’ to be installed June 5

Thumbnail Witness Stone
One of the Witness Stones in Connecticut. (Witness Stones Project/Kingston Congregational Church)

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island’s first “Witness Stones” will be installed in a public ceremony on the grounds of the Kingston Congregational Church on June 5.

“The Witness Stones Project, Inc. is a non-profit, public history project, that works with local communities to restore the history and honor the humanity ofenslaved individuals who helped build our communities,” Reverend Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier said.

The two stones installed at the church will commemorate the lives of Cuffee and Sylvie Torrey.

“Cuffee Torrey was enslaved by the first minister of what is now the Kingston Congregational Church, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Torrey, hence the significance and import of the placement of these stones,” Gregory-Charpentier said.

The installation story will occur at 1:30 p.m. and will be attended Witness Stones Project participants, local officials, featured speakers including Gov. Dan McKee, and students from The Compass School in Kingston, she added.

The Witness Stones Project was started in Guilford, Connecticut and has installed over 170 markers across five states to recognize the importance of enslaved individuals from those communities.

Categories: News, Rhode Island