The Creation of the Abyssinian Congregational Church – 1835. —
PURE ETHIOPIANISM in Nineteenth Century America —-
The influence of the Abyssinians(Ethiopians) in United States history and their direct and indirect influence in the abolionist movement leaves my in awe. This historic document is described as “Second Church dismission of members in order to organize the Abyssinian Church in Portland, Maine–dated nearly two hundred years ago —– July 27, 1835 .
THIS is Ethiopianism at its finest!
One of the most phenomenonal names of this era appears to be one of those individuals that played a role in this event, named Christopher Christian Manuel (1781-1845).
The following is cited from “Black America: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia”
Christopher C. Manuel of Portland became a barber, band coordinator, business owner, and human rights leader.
A native of Cape Verde, Manuel is thought to have immigrated to the United States as a mariner.
In 1820, he married Nancy Pier, a daughter of perhaps one of the leading black families in Portland, that of Peter and Elizabeth Pierre.
Following his first wife’s death, Manuel married Sophia Ruby, an influential antislavery activist and Underground Railroad leader.
As a barber, a highly regarded occupation at the time, Manuel was an important person in the black community, as many would congregate at his place of business for haircuts, humor, and serious dialogue. He was also a flutist who organized the first reported brass band in Maine.
Manuel, along with several other contributors, would go on to help create the Abyssinian Religious Society and the Abyssinian Congregational Church, which still stands.
On June 1, 1842, the Abyssinian Congregational Church would become the site for the founding of the Portland Union Anti-slavery Society, and Manuel would subsequently become its first elected president. His wife, Sophia, survived him by 30 years and today their bodies rest at the Eastern Cemetery, recently discovered to be a popular grave site of Maine’s African American abolitionists.” More to come…
(Photo: Second Church dismission of members in order to organize the Abyssinian Church in Portland, Maine, July 27, 1835) (Sources: //www.mainememory.net/artifact/9245 Black America: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia: A State-by-State Historical Encylopedia, By Alton Hornsby Jr.)