In 1826, Mr. Manuel, with 5 others, published a letter in the Eastern Argus calling out the Second Congressional Church, where they worshipped, for treating them as if they shouldn't even be there:
“Nay, pardon our misapprehensions if they be such, we have sometimes thought our attendance was not desired.”*
They asked the state of Maine if they could start their own church which became the Abyssinian Congressional Church. Manuel is memorialized in the Eastern Cemetery with a beautiful flat granite marker that not only explains his life, but also marks it as part of the Portland Freedom Trail. A monument to the Trail was placed right outside the fence on Congress Street.
Christopher Christian Manuel
1781 - 1845
Activist, Barber and Musician
Born in Cape Verde, Africa
First President Portland
Union Anti-Slavery Society
(Portland Freedom Trail)
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