Tag: Marjory O’Toole

LCHS Annual Meeting

LCHS Annual Meeting

Stories of Enslavement, Indenture and Freedom in Little Compton

Speaker:  Marjory Gomez O’Toole

  • Wednesday, August 10, 2016
  • United Congregational ChurchMarjory O'Toole 2016 by Chris O'Toole
  • 7:00 PM      Business Meeting
  • 7:15 PM       Speaker  
  • 8:00 PM     Refreshments, Book Sales, Author Signing
  • Please Note: The memorial dedication originally planned for 6:30 PM in the cemetery has been postponed because of a delay with the monument.  

Marjory O’Toole, Little Compton Historical Society Managing Director, will share the personal stories of some of Little Compton’s 250 enslaved and forcibly indentured people during her talk at the organization’s Annual Meeting.  The event is free and open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, August 10 at 7 PM at the United Congregational Church on the Little Compton Commons. Members of the Historical Society are especially encouraged to attend to vote on the organization’s board members and officers. A brief business meeting will take place from 7 to 7:15, followed by Ms. O’Toole’s talk. The evening will conclude with refreshments and a book-signing.

Ms. O’Toole has been the Managing Director of the Historical Society for over a decade. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Humanities at Brown University. For the last three years she has been conducting primary source research that sheds light on the lives of Little Compton’s enslaved and forcibly indentured men, women and children who lived and worked in the community from 1674 to 1816.

This summer, and specifically August 5, 2016, marks the 200th anniversary of the end of slavery in Little Compton. Kate Hilliard, the last person known to be enslaved in Little Compton, gained her freedom on August 5, 1816 when her owner, David Hilliard’s will, was approved in the local probate court. David granted Kate her freedom in his will and directed his grandson to care for her in her old age. Kate was enslaved by the Hilliard family throughout her life and worked in their tavern and the poor house that they ran. She married an enslaved man named Prince Grinnell and together they had at least two children.

The Historical Society is celebrating the end of slavery in Little Compton by honoring the lives of enslaved people like Kate Hilliard. Their stories were lost from our local history for over two hundred years and have only recently been rediscovered through the Historical Society and Ms. O’Toole’s efforts. This July the Society published Ms. O’Toole’s book entitled “If Jane Should Want to Be Sold, Stories of Enslavement Indenture and Freedom in Little Compton, Rhode Island” and opened a special exhibit by the same title. The book is now available at the Historical Society’s museum shop and Wilbur’s General Store, Earle’s Gas Station, Gray’s Daily Grind and Partner’s Village Store as well as amazon.com. It is also available for loan at the Brownell Library and other libraries throughout the state.

Reservations are not required for the annual meeting.  Directions and more information is available by calling 401-635-4035.


LCHS to Present at Catboat Association Meeting

LCHS to Present at Catboat Association Meeting

The CatboatDSC03497 Association has invited LCHS President Dora Atwater Millikin and Director Marjory O’Toole to share the history of Peggotty at the Association’s 53rd Annual Meeting in Mystic, Connecticut this weekend, March 6-8, 2015.

The Catboat Association calls Peggotty “the oldest catboat in captivity” dating it to approximately 1850. Marjory will discuss its original use as a fishing boat and ferry boat in the Sakonnet River, itsDSC03515 transformation into Sydney Burleigh’s artist studio in 1906, its journey to the Historical Society in 1962, and the conservation and preservation efforts the Historical Society has undertaken since then.

Most recently LCHS has committed to a $90,000 preservation and conservation project to provide Peggotty with a more supportive boat cradle, a beautiful new display building, and a new more prominent location on the Historical Society grounds.

This summer PegIMG_0258 (1)gotty moved into its new building using a system of planks and rollers that would have made the ancient Egyptians proud. This winter it is tucked safely behind its brand new Category 5 Hurricane Screens.

The screens will come down as soon as the winter snows finally melt away, and Master Shipwright Hermann Hinrichsen will continue his careful restoration of Peggotty’s hull.

We are now just $27,000 away from our fundraising goal and welcome gifts of all sizes to help SAVE PEGGOTTY.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira © Little Compton Historical Society
548 West Main Road, Little Compton, Rhode Island