Forum: Peter Williams Cassey - Bay Area African American Saint's Heroic Efforts in the Mid-18th Century

Thu, Feb 21, 2013 7:30 pm

Tucson Common Room
Presenter: 
The Rev. Dr. Jerry William Drino, priest-historian at Trinity Cathedral, Director of the national Cassey Historic Project, Coordinator for Theological Formation at the cathedral and in the Episcopal Church in Navajoland; Founder of Hope With South Sudan, a scholarship foundation in East African.  Graduate of CDSP 1967.

Please join the CDSP community for a forum exploring the labors and witness of two free African Americans before, during and after the Civil War in the Bay Area.

Peter Williams Cassey arrived in San Francisco in 1853 when the Fugitive Slave act was in full force and an estimated 5000 slaves where in California.  He was a fourth generation freed African American, grandson of the first Episcopal priest in New York, and son of leading abolitionists in Philadelphia.  He labored to free slaves in our state, was at the center of the organization of the Congress of Colored People in 1855. He and his wife, Anna Besent Cassey, were founding member of Trinity Episcopal Church (now Cathedral) and in the same year, 1861, founded St. Philip's Academy and Mission for Black, Mexican, Native American and Chinese students prevented from attending public school.  In 1866 he was ordained a deacon, the first person of color ordained in the Episcopal Church west of the Mississippi River.  The memory of the Casseys' is now in the process of being included in the calendar of saints for the Episcopal Church.

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